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Armenian presidential election, 1998

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Title: Armenian presidential election, 1998  
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Subject: Elections in Armenia, Armenian independence referendum, 1991, Armenian parliamentary election, 2007, Armenian parliamentary election, 2012, History of Armenia
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Armenian presidential election, 1998

Armenian presidential election, 1998

March 30, 1998 (1998-03-30)

Nominee Robert Kocharyan Karen Demirchyan
Party Independent Independent
Popular vote 908,613 618,764
Percentage 58.9% 40.1%

President before election

Levon Ter-Petrosyan

Elected President

Robert Kocharyan

Presidential elections were held in Armenia on 16 March 1998, with a second round on 30 March.[1] The result was a victory for independent candidate Robert Kocharyan, who won 58.9% of the vote in the second round. Turnout was 63.5% in the first round and 68.1% in the second.[2]


The first round was held on 16 March 1998.[3] Prime Minister and acting President Robert Kocharyan and Karen Demirchyan, the leader of Soviet Armenia from 1974 to 1988, won the most number of votes: 38.5% and 30.5% respectively.[4] Demirchyan, who came in second, had been absent from politics for 10 years and had been in business.[5]

Demirchyan was seen as a good old man from the Soviet times who could "return to the certainties of the past and distaste for mafia capitalism personified by Ter-Petrosyan's rule."[5] Demirchyan was very popular among the Armenian public.[6][7][8] A poll quoted by Western diplomats, showed that Demirchyan had the support of the 53% of Armenians, while Kocharyan was favored by only 36%.[9] He was also preferable for the West, since he had more moderate approach to the Karabakh conflict settlement, while Kocharyan was seen as a vivid nationalist.[5]

The second round of the election was held on March 30 between Kocharyan and Demirchyan. Kocharyan won with 58.9% of the vote. The final results showed Demirchyan having only 40.1% of the vote.[4] The British Helsinki Human Rights Group claimed that "ordinary Armenians turned to Robert Kocharian as someone untainted by mafia connections and the intrigues of Yerevan politics."[5] The OSCE observation mission described the first round as "deeply flawed,"[10] while their final report stated that the mission found "serious flaws" and that the election did not meet the OSCE standards.[11] Although Demirchyan didn't officially dispute the election results, he never accepted them and did not congratulate Kocharyan.[12][13]


Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Robert Kocharyan Independent 545,938 38.5 908,613 58.9
Karen Demirchyan Socialist Party 431,967 30.5 618,764 40.1
Vazgen Manukyan National Democratic Union 172,449 12.2
Sergey Badalyan Armenian Communist Party 155,023 10.9
Paruyr Hayrikyan Union for National Self-Determination 76,212 5.4
David Shamazaryan Independent 6,798 0.5
Artashes Geghamyan National Accord Party 6,314 0.4
Vigen Khachatryan Democratic Liberal Party of Armenia 3,999 0.3
Hrant Khachatryan Constitutional Rights Union 2,943 0.2
Aram Gaspar Sargsyan Democratic Party of Armenia 2,710 0.2
Yuri Mkrtchyan Independent 2,511 0.2
Ashot Bleyan New Path 1,559 0.1
None of the above 9,509 0.7 14,890 1.0
Invalid/blank votes 38,177 - 25,435 -
Total 1,456,109 100 1,567,702 100
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p329 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  2. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p337 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b c d
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^
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External links

  • (Armenian) Նախագահական ընտրություններ 1998 Internews Armenia
  • (Russian) 1998-ի նախագահական ընտրությունները Internews Armenia
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