By Ruzanna Khachatrian
All nine individuals seeking to stand in Armenia’s presidential election were formally registered as candidates by the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Friday.
The CEC swiftly accepted their applications three days before the official start of campaigning for the February 19 vote. All of them were found to have complied with registration requirements, including a financial deposit of 8 million drams ($26,000), set by the Armenian Electoral Code.
The candidates include Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, deputy parliament speaker Vahan Hovannisian, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, former parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian as well as two other opposition leaders, Artashes Geghamian and Vazgen Manukian. Also on the ballot will be businessman and TV commentator Tigran Karapetian, university lecturer Aram Harutiunian, Arman Melikian, Nagorno-Karabakh’s former permanent representative to Armenia.
Some of the candidates already effectively kicked off their campaign late last year.