Local Elections in Karabakh Slated for September

Karabakh voters at the polls during the 2010 parliamentary elections

BY LUSINE MUSAYELIAN

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)—Voters in Nagorno-Karabakh will go to the polls on September 18 to elect local self-government bodies of the capital Stepanakert and more than 200 other mostly rural communities.

Three individuals applied for official registration as candidates for the post of Stepanakert mayor in time for Wednesday’s deadline for their nomination. The town’s incumbent pro-government mayor, Vazgen Mikaelian, is not among them.

Mikaelian, in office since 2008, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that he will not seek reelection because he wants to “let others work.” He did not elaborate.

Suren Grigorian, chief of the Karabakh government staff, is widely seen as Mikaelian’s most likely successor. His nomination was announced at the last minute.

Grigorian will be challenged by Eduard Aghabekian, who served as Stepanakert’s mayor from 2004-2008, and Marat Hasratian, a member of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s parliament. Hasratian also works as a lawyer at the Karabakh ministry of social affairs.

According to the local election commission, 41 other candidates want to vie for the 15 seats on Stepanakert’s municipal council.

The commission has not yet released any data on the number of candidates in 208 other Karabakh towns and villages that will elect their administrations and local councils next month.

Azerbaijan is certain to condemn the upcoming elections. It has said in the past that it will consider any elections held in Karabakh illegitimate as long as the Karabakh’s Azerbaijani minority displaced by the 1991-1994 is unable to take part in them.

Armenia, by contrast, has strongly defended the Karabakh Armenians’ right to regularly hold presidential, parliamentary and local elections before a resolution of the conflict with Azerbaijan.

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2 Comments

  1. Harut said:

    YEREVANS ELECTION MONKEYS SHOULD TAKE EXAMPLE FROM XARABAX YOU SEE PEOPLE HOW PEACEFUL AND DISIPLINED PEOPLE ARE IN XARABAX YOU DONT HEAR ANY ONE KILLING ANYONE FOR A LOUSY SEAT, BUT NO IN YEREVAN ( AXPER JAN ESI MER ATORNA VONSTE INKE NSTI, ENI OVA VOR HLE ATOR NSTI) YEREVANS PEOPLE SHOULD START LOOKING AT XARABAXS ELECTIONS AND TAKE ANOTE NOT TO GET FOOLED BY THE SO CALLED PEOPLE LOVING POLITICIANS B……T.

  2. manooshag said:

    Actually, Hiastansis should also seek to choose their leaderships – better. Not any of those whose mentality is still of the communistic (USSR) governments (for all these 20 years!!)… Haiastans citizens should be open more to the diasporans who have learned of the democracies in which they are now citizens… Some are quite successful… All the leaderships of Haiastan have kept their distances from the diasporans… they do so deliberately and with malice… for the diasporans have much to bring to our homeland… The citizens of Haiastan too, must choose to vote for ONLY honest and patriots to lead our homeland… not any of the mentality that has prevaded all these 20 years… valuable years… WASTED!!

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