On March 31st, the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) held free and democratic elections for president and parliament. With a turnout of 72.7%, this year’s election was the first time that the young republic held presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously.
The Artsakh Foreign Ministry issued a statement, which states in part: “We are convinced that the strengthening of democratic traditions and their spread throughout the South Caucasus will become an important contribution to ensuring peace, stability and predictability in the region, as well as create the necessary conditions for the final settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict by exclusively peaceful means. The consistent efforts of the authorities and people of Artsakh should be supported by the international community, since the strengthening of democracy, human rights and the rule of law is universal and therefore is the collective responsibility of the entire world community.”
The Armenian Foreign Ministry released a statement on the successful election stating, “The right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination is the foundation for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This reality has been fully reflected in the principles and elements of settlement presented by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which envisage the determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will.”
During the election process, Azerbaijan military forces again violated the cease-fire agreement and fired upon civilian Armenian villages.
Below are the presidential results reported by the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Artsakh:
- Arayik Harutyunyan – 49.26% (Free Motherland-UCA Alliance)
- Masis Mayilyan – 26.4% (New Artsakh Alliance)
- Vitali Balasanyan – 14.7% (Justice Party of Artsakh)
- Davit Ishkhanyan – 2.56% (Armenian Revolutionary Federation)
- Ashot Ghoulyan – 2.3% (Democratic Party of Artsakh)
- Hayk Khanumyan – 1.3% (National Renaissance Party)
- Vahan Badasyan – 1 percent (United Armenia Party)
- Davit Babayan – 0.8% (Conservative Party of Artsakh)
- Ruslan Israyelyan – 0.5% (Independence Generation Party)
- Kristin Balayan – 0.3% (Independent candidate)
- Ashot Dadayan – 0.3% (Independent candidate)
- Bella Lalayan – 0.2% (Independent candidate)
- Melsik Poghosyan – 0.2% (Independent candidate)
- Sergey Amiryan – 0.2% (Independent candidate)
Since no candidate received over 50% of the vote, the top two candidates, Arayik Harutyunyan and Masis Mayilyan, proceed to a runoff election which will take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
In Artsakh’s parliamentary elections, twelve political parties participated and five secured participation in parliament by passing the 5% threshold for parties and 7% for blocs, according to a report issued by Artsakh Central Election Commission Chairwoman Srbuhi Arzumanyan. The elected parliamentary parties are Free Motherland-UCA Alliance (40.4%), United Homeland Party (23.63%), Justice Party of Artsakh (7.9%), Armenian Revolutionary Federation (6.4%), and Democratic Party of Artsakh (5.81%).