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  7. Pope Francis Creates Firestorm Over Genocide Comment
Sarkisyan Easily Wins Second Term

In February 2013, Serzh Sarkisyan was re-elected to a second five-year term as president. Preliminary returns showed that Sarkisyan received 59 percent of the vote, enough of a majority to avoid a runoff. Raffi Hovanessian, a former foreign minister, came in second, far behind at 37 percent.

Seen as a stable leader who had made economic improvements during his first term, Sarkisyan had been favored to win for months. The election wasn't without conflict. Paruir A. Airikyan, another candidate for president and former Soviet dissident, was shot in late January 2013, as the election approached. Authorities ruled it as an assassination attempt. Airikyan threatened to delay the election by using a provision in Armenia's constitution due to his injury, but decided against it.

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