Twin Inaugurations

April 9 turned into a strange day with both officially reelected President Serzh Sarkissian and his opposition challanger Raffi Hovannisian swearing in as presidents of Armenia.
The settings were rather different, as you can see from these two videos below:


The day turned a little scary when a couple of dozen opposition supporters taken to the police and the nose of a key oppositionist, Armen Martirosyan’s, was smashed into a bleeding condition in an incident with the police. The rumors about the murder of a young man, which later turned out to be unrelated and news about Raffi Hovannisian losing consciousness amid clashes with the police exacerbated the situation.

In the end, however, the day ended rather peacefully.

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Armenia - Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is greeted by supporters in Yerevan's Liberty Square, 22Feb2013 | Photolur via Azatutyun.am

Google+ Hangout With Armenian Presidential Challenger Raffi Hovannisian

Armenia - Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is greeted by supporters in Yerevan's Liberty Square, 22Feb2013 | Photolur via Azatutyun.am
Armenia – Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is greeted by supporters in Yerevan’s Liberty Square, 22Feb2013 | Photolur via Azatutyun.am

On April 9, incumbent Serzh Sarkisian will be sworn in for another term as president of Armenia.
As that happens, Sarkisian’s bested rival, Raffi Hovannisian, will be taking part in his own inauguration — the “inauguration of a new Armenia,” as he says. It’s unclear exactly what the event will be, but the timing is almost certainly no accident.
Hovannisian disputes the results of the February 18 election. He lost to Sarkisian by roughly 20 points, according to official results. He recently ended a two-week hunger strike that he had been holding to protest the election results and demand electoral reforms.
RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Radio Azatutyun) discussed all of these issues and more with Hovannisian in an exclusive Google+ Hangout on the evening of April 7.
Watch a recording of the talk below.

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