Gallup Int’l: Sargsyan clear frontrunner in Armenian presidential race

Incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan would poll up to 68 percent of the vote if citizens of Armenia were asked to go to the polls next Sunday, said a leading pollster, Gallup International, after gauging public opinion in Armenia again on February 2-5.

The Association’s Armenia Office Director Aram Navasardyan told a press conference in Yerevan on Thursday that in the survey, in which 1,080 citizens of Armenia aged at least 18 were asked about their political preferences, 24 percent of respondents stated their intention to vote for opposition candidate Raffi Hovannisian, the leader of the Heritage Party.

According to the poll, another opposition candidate, Soviet-era dissident Paruyr Hayrikyan, who survived an apparent assassination attempt on January 31, is a distant second, with 5 percent of respondents intending to cast their votes in his favor, while ex-Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan, who has been nominated to run for president by his opposition Liberty Party, is polling only 2 percent of the vote.

The other four maverick candidates, including Radio Hay director Andrias Ghukasyan, who has been on a hunger strike since the start of the campaign on January 21, score around 0 percent, according to the survey.