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Armenia lifts state of emergency imposed after disputed election

[JURIST] Protests resumed in the Armenian capital city of Yerevan after the government Friday lifted a 20-day state of emergency [JURIST report] imposed earlier this month in the wake of the country's contested presidential election. Armenian President Robert Kocharian [official website] declared the state of emergency after protesters demonstrated against the result of the February 19 presidential election in which Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan [official profile], a Kocharian ally, was declared the winner [BBC report]. Supporters of opposition candidate and former president, Levon Ter-Petrosian [official website], alleged fraud, and held daily rallies [IHT report] to force a new vote.

Earlier this month, the Constitutional Court of Armenia rejected a challenge [JURIST report] brought by Ter-Petrosian against the election results, ruling that although polling discrepancies existed they did not affect the election's outcome. The National Assembly of Armenia [official website] Monday voted in an emergency session to place restrictions on rallies and demonstrations [JURIST report]. Last week, Kocharian issued a decree lifting some media restrictions [JURIST report] put in place during the state of emergency. Many media restrictions remain in place, however, and the government is accused of censoring material deemed to be critical of its policies [RFE/RL report]. AP has more.

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