Sargsyan or Sarkisyan, Serzh, 1954–, Armenian political leader, president of Armenia (2008–), b. Nagorno-Karabakh. He served in the Soviet armed forces (1972–74) and graduated from Yerevan State Univ. in 1979. Sargsyan held various posts with the Communist party in Nagorno-Karabakh (1979–88), and since Armenian independence he has held several cabinet positions in the Armenian government, including minister of defense (1993–95), minister of interior and national security (1996–99), secretary of the national security council (1999–2007), minister of defense (2000–2007), and prime minister (2007–8). He was elected president in 2008 in balloting marred by irregularities and denounced as fraudulent by the opposition.
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