Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Became President:||February 4, 1998|
|Date of Birth:||August 31, 1954|
|Place of Birth:||Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh|
Robert Sedraki Kocharian (Armenian: Ռոբերտ Քոչարյան) (born August 31, 1954) is the second president of the third republic of Armenia. He was born in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, an historically-Armenian province that was arbitrarily granted to Azerbaijan by Stalin in the 1920s but reclaimed by Armenian forces in the 1990s. After becoming president of Nagorno-Karabakh in 1994, he became Prime Minister of Armenia in 1997. In April 1998, he replaced Levon Ter-Petrossian as President of Armenia.
He was a Communist Party official before the collapse of the Soviet Union but is no longer a member of any political party. Under Kocharian, Armenia has experienced relative stability and growth and the emigration rampant under Ter-Petrossian has been reduced. Kocharian has taken a hardline stance on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.
His 2003 re-election was marred by allegations of electoral fraud, though most experts contend that any fraudulent activity was not enough to sway the outcome. There were sporadic calls for Kocharian's resignation in early 2004 with opposition-led demonstrators taking to the streets in support of demands for a referendum of confidence in him.
Kocharian and his wife, Bella Kocharian, have three children.
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