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Armenia Holds Presidential Election

A man casts his ballot during the presidential election at a polling station in Yerevan, February 18, 2013.
Armenians are voting Monday for a new president.

Incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan is widely expected to win. His victory would give another five years to the already 13-year rule of his Republican Party in the small Caucasus nation.

In a rarity for the former Soviet republics, Armenia is having a genuine multi-party contest. The race, however, has been rocky for the landlocked nation of about 3 million people.

Of the eight original candidates, one has dropped out, a second refuses to vote, a third also refuses to vote and is on a hunger strike, a fourth was shot and wounded in an apparent assassination attempt, and a fifth fears arrest after Monday's vote because he knew the suspected shooter.

Of the last three candidates, two were charging fraud even before the first ballot was cast.