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Europe
Armenian president sworn in
Serzh Sarkisian inaugurated after a disputed election that sparked days of protests.
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2008 13:56 GMT
Thousands of opposition supporters staged three days  of protests in Yerevan after the elections [EPA]
Serzh Sarkisian has been inaugrated as president of Armenia nearly two months after elections which the opposition criticised as rigged.

As he was sworn in before dozens of foreign dignitaries and government officials inside the opera house in the capital Yerevan, Sarkisian promised to work with his opponents.
Sarkisian, a former prime minister who was hand-picked by outgoing president Robert Kocharian, won 53 per cent of the vote in February's election.

But thousands of supporters of Levon Ter-Petrosian, the runner up, rallied for 11 days against the result, accusing authorities of fraud.
In his inaugural address before parliament, Sarkisian said: "This ceremony takes place about a month after painful events, which inflicted wounds that are still fresh."
 
"These wounds caused pain and bitterness to all of us. Today, I urge everybody to look forward, together, to seek and find the path of reconciliation, of development, for the future of Armenia."

State of emergency
 
Following the presidential election, clashes erupted when riot police moved in to disperse protesters on March 1.
 
Seven civilians and one security officer were killed and dozens were injured, many from gunshot wounds.
 
A 20-day state of emergency imposed after the unrest was lifted on March 20, but tough restrictions on public demonstrations remain in place.
 
Police have arrested 90 people in connection with the unrest, including many senior opposition figures.
 
Western observers issued an overall positive assessment of the February 19 election, but noted serious flaws, especially during the vote count.
 
The 53-year-old had been prime minister since last year after his Republican Party swept parliamentary polls.
 
The former Soviet republic, a Christian state of around three million people, lies on the edge of the Caucasus region and is a key energy transit route between Asia and Europe.
Source:
Agencies
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