Karabakh Presidential Campaign Ends Ahead of Thursday’s Polls

STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)–The presidential election campaign in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic came to an end Tuesday as the Central Electoral Commission announced that it had prepared all necessary documen’s and dispatched them to precincts.
According to the President of the Central Electoral Commission Sergey Nasibyan, seminars were organized for the members of local electoral commissions.
On Wednesday all ballots will be delivered to precincts, which will also be supplied with ballot boxes and other necessary items.
The number of registered voters reached 91,166. About 100 international observers and journalists are expected to arrive. At press time, 32 international observers and 40 foreign media representatives, eight local observers and 42 local media representatives were already registered at the Central Electoral Commission
Earlier this year, Bako Sahakian, who resigned as National Security Service chairman, announced his candidacy to succeed the two-term Arkady Ghoukasian.
Sahakian candidacy is backed by Ghoukasian’s Democratic Artsakh Party and by two opposition parties represented in its National Assembly–the Movement-88 and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Joining Sahakian on theballot are Massis Maylian, who is in his late 30s and a graduate of the Vienna Diplomatic Academy; parliament deputy Armen Abgarian; Nagorno-Karabakh Communist Party leader Hrant Melkumian; and Vanya Avanesian, a professor at Artsakh State University.
Meanwhile in Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday condemning the presidential elections scheduled for Thursday in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
"The illegal elections are considered in Ankara to be a component of efforts and unilateral steps intended to legalize the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh which does not correspond to the standards of the international law, as well as to violate the decisions made by the UN Security Council and OSCE," the statement said.
The foreign ministry emphasized that during the period when talks on the settlement of Armenian-Azeri Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are in progress within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, "holding the so-called presidential elections in occupied Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh should be viewed as a challenge to the peace process. In this connection, the Turkish Foreign Ministry, condemning the elections as another effort to break political unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, believes them to be incompetent from the standpoint of the international law and does not recognize the results of the elections.”

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