32 ARF Council Members Elected
STEPANAKERT—Municipal elections were held in the Nagono-Karabakh Republic on Sunday, with the participation of the 56 percent of eligible voters. According to Ara Puluzyan, a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee of Artsakh, 32 out of around 40 ARF candidates were elected to office, reported the Stepanakert-based Aparaj.am.
A total of 52,765 voters—about 56 percent of all eligible voters—cast their ballots in 207 districts, according to the Central Election Commission of the NKR. Preliminary results show that incumbent Stepanakert mayor Suren Grigoryan—member of the Democratic Party of Artsakh—was re-elected by receiving 10,686 votes. Aris Grigoryan—member of the Communist Party of Artsakh—came in second with 3,303 votes in the country’s capital.
“The ARF has always believed that local self-governance is of great importance to the overall governance of the country. Unfortunately, over the last few years, the role of local governance bodies has lessened as a result of more centralization,” said Puluzyan, who noted that the local ARF began its campaign about two months ago. According to Puluzyan, both members of the party and non-member supporters were on the ARF ticket.
“It is important for authorities in the United States to recognize the legitimacy of elections in the country, just as the European delegation had done on their recent visit,” said Puluzyan.
From Sept. 6-13, a six-member parliamentary delegation from the Kingdom of Belgium visited the Republics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The delegation was accompanied by European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) President Kaspar Karampetian, EAFJD EU Affairs Officer Heghine Evinyan, and Armenian National Committee of Belgium member Robert Invijajev.
On Sept. 11, John Kirby, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said that while the United States recognizes “the role of the population in deciding their future,” it will not recognize the election results.
“In the context of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, we recognize the role of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh in deciding their future. However, the United States does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent sovereign state, and we will not accept the results of the so-called elections on the 13th of September as affecting the legal status of the region,” Kirby said.