Decision 2013: Raffi Hovannisian gives incumbent until tomorrow to accept “people’s victory”

Opposition Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian, who officially polled about 37 percent of the vote in the Monday presidential election, gave the official winner, incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan, until Wednesday afternoon to accept “people’s victory” (i.e. to concede his defeat) or face more protests from him and his supporters.

Addressing several thousand activists and supporters in Liberty Square in Yerevan today Hovannisian said he expected Sargsyan to shake his hand as the winner’s by 5 pm tomorrow.

“I don’t believe in posts, but I am already president-elect,” said Hovannisian, who made it clear that if given a chance to form a government he would also cooperate with the broad-based opposition and "alternative" forces that did not contest the February election.

Hovannisian, whose proxies and campaign activists have alleged mass violations during the February 18 balloting, believe that they have been deprived of a victory.

The Sargsyan campaign headquarters have dismissed the allegations, with the president describing the vote in which he has officially been reelected for the second and final five-year consecutive term in office, as “good”.

International observers, including the largest Western vote-monitoring mission, OSCE/ODIHR, have also mostly given a positive evaluation to the Monday vote despite acknowledging some "serious" violations in the process.