YEREVAN, Armenia An Armenian court on Saturday rejected an opposition candidate's appeal of the country's disputed presidential election, the outcome of which has led to deadly clashes between protesters and police.
Election officials announced that Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian won the Feb. 19 election, but opponent Levon Ter-Petrosian appealed to Armenia's Constitutional Court, claiming fraud.
On Saturday, the high court noted there were some violations in the election but said they did not affect the results.
Supporters of Ter-Petrosian, Armenia's first president following the Soviet collapse, staged days of protests after the results were announced. Last Saturday, the government declared a 20-day state of emergency when clashes with police left eight people dead and more than 100 injured.
The bloodshed was the worst political crisis to hit this strategically located, volatile former Soviet republic in nearly a decade.
It was unclear what Ter-Petrosian plans to do in response to the court's ruling, though he has vowed to call new protests after the state of emergency is lifted in coming weeks.
Arman Musinian, spokesman for Ter-Petrosian, had no immediate comment on the ruling.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, meanwhile, released an update to its observers' report on the election that noted "implausibly high voter turnout" at some polling stations. It also said the vote count at large percentage of stations to be flawed or having "significant procedural errors."
The observer mission had issued a generally positive assessment of the vote just after the election.
Armenia's Foreign Ministry responded to the OSCE report by saying "appropriate steps" had been taken to address some violations, but asserted that the observers erred by using unverified data and suggested the report lacked objectivity.