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Exit poll: Armenian president reelected

Just over 60 percent of Armenia's 2.5 million eligible voters cast ballots in the election today, reelecting President Serge Sarkisian, according to an exit poll.

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Armenian President Serge Sarkisian casts his ballot during presidential election in Yerevan, Armenia Monday. Sarkisian was re-elected, with 58 percent of the vote.

Tigran Mehrabyan/AP

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Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, who has overseen a modest economic recovery in his country, was re-elected in a national election on Monday, according to an exit poll.

The poll of 19,130 voters conducted by Gallup and other pollsters and carried by ArmNews TV showed Sarkisian winning 58 percent of the ballots. The closest of his six rivals, the American-born Raffi Hovanessian, who was post-Soviet Armenia's first foreign minister, polled 32 percent.

Just over 60 percent of Armenia's 2.5 million eligible voters cast ballots in the election for the country's top official, according to the Central Election Commission. Full preliminary results are expected Tuesday.

A strong performance by Sarkisian appears to have helped him avoid a runoff, which would be required if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.

Sarkisian's victory had been widely expected. He has overseen a return to economic growth after years of stagnation, although the former Soviet republic still suffers from widespread poverty. World Bank figures for 2010, the most recent year tallied, show nearly 36 percent of the country living below the national poverty line. Average wages are about $300 a month.

The landlocked country's economy is hobbled by the longstanding closure of its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey, both connected with the occupation by Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian local forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. That conflict shows no signs of imminent resolution despite years of international mediation attempts.

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