Armenia's ruling parties set to keep grip on power

May 6, 2012 18:05

YEREVAN - Armenians looked set to return the two biggest parties in the ruling coalition to power on Sunday, in an election they hope will be free of the fraud and violence that marred the South Caucasus country's last national election in 2007.

President Serzh Sarksyan's Republican Party and Prosperous Armenia, led by businessman Gagik Tsarukyan, were expected to remain in charge of the former Soviet republic, and the poll is seen as a test of strength between the two parties.

More than 300 international observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are monitoring voting. One observer said privately there had been violations.

Ink stamps on the passports of people who had already voted had disappeared within 15 minutes, giving them the chance to vote again, the observer said.

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