[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Armenia [official website, in Armenian] Saturday rejected a challenge brought by an opposition candidate against the results of February's disputed presidential election, ruling that although polling discrepancies existed they did not affect the election's outcome. Tens of thousands of supporters of opposition candidate and former President Levon Ter-Petrosian [campaign website, in Armenian] staged protests after the results were announced, alleging fraud and prompting current Armenian President Robert Kocharian [official website] to declare a state of emergency [JURIST report] last Saturday. Ter-Petrosian has said he will call for more protests when the state of emergency is lifted.
The state of emergency is set to be in place until March 20. It imposes bans on all rallies and protests while also placing restrictions on the media. The declaration gives police the power to restrict movement, and to search private and public vehicles. Ter-Petrosian's supporters had held daily rallies [IHT report] since Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan [official profile], a Kocharian ally, was declared the winner [BBC report] of the February 19 election. Last Saturday, Ter-Petrosian was not allowed to leave his house, but he told reporters that he was not under formal house arrest. AP has more.