Karabakh Votes

A voter in Thursday's presidential elections

STEPANAKERT—Voters in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic came out in droves to take part in the fifth presidential elections of the country. According to Karabakh’s Central Electoral Commission, more than 73 percent of registered voters turned out by the time polls had closed at 8 p.m. local time.

The Central Electoral Commission will officially announce the results as early as Friday.

President Bako Sahakian, who is seeking a second term in office voted in Stepanakert, saying that he voter “for building a strong, independent and united state.

He is being challenged by General Vitaly Balasanian, who voted in Askeran and said that if elected he will work hard to attain international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Some 110 international observers converged on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to monitor the vote, including observers from Armenia, former Soviet republics, the EU and the US. The Western observers were there on behalf of NGOs and did not represent any government.

One of the American observers was former Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch who arrived in Artsakh Wednesday.

“I congratulate the government of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic for their commitment to a transparent and fair election. I look forward to participating in this democratic process,” Lynch said before leaving for Artsakh.

The final tally on participants from the CEC (click to enlarge)

As expected Azerbaijan condemned the vote, saying that the elections were not legitimate and reiterated its call for “withdrawal of Armenian occupation from seized territories.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said the aim of the election was to conceal “Armenia’s policy of annexing Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry claimed that the upcoming elections in Karabakh ran counter to OSCE principles and UN Security Council’s decisions.

“Turkey, which always supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, strongly condemns these illegal ‘elections’ and will not acknowledge its results,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement, adding that “The continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh is a serious obstacle to stability and peace in the South Caucasus.”

Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said that the EU did not recognize the elections.

“These ‘elections’ should not prejudice the determination of the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh in the negotiated general framework of the peaceful settlement of the conflict,” said Ashton.


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  1. AR said:

    The EU and turkey can go to hell. Armenia/Artsakh do not need their recognition.

  2. Vazken said:

    Who cares what azerbaijan and turkey think and say. I would rather have you not waste news space for drivel coming from loser nations.

  3. Gabe Korajian said:

    The Azeris should take an example from Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and run a fair election in their country.Bravo Karabakh. Show Azeris how to run a country in a fair and equitable manner. Shame on Catherine Ashton , the EU and all other the countries who have double standards and do not recognize the democratic rights of Artsakh.

    Gabe Korajian

  4. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Shame on Ashton to support criminals…She need to read history…
    She is a failed politician…
    British have occupied Scotland, Wales and Ireland…
    And Turkey wants to rule every space now entering Iraq…with military planes…!

  5. Pingback: Yukarı Karabağ Seçimleri | TUİÇ Akademi

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