According to Artsakh’s Central Election Commission, 72.2 percent of the country’s registered voters took party in Tuesday’s presidential and parliamentary elections, placing the voter count at 76,471 when polling places closed at 8 p.m. local time. Artsakh’s registered voters numbered at 105,251.
Artsakh’s Central Electoral Commission chairwoman Srbuhi Arzumanyan made the announcement late Tuesday night, saying that preliminary results of the elections would be announced at 8 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
Preliminary results by the CEC indicate that Artsakh’s former state and prime minister Arayik Harutunyan is leading the presidential ballot with Artsakh’s foreign minister Masis Mayilyan coming in second.
Arzumanyan also presented a breakdown of voting in Stepanakert and other Artsakh regions as follows:
Stepanakert: Of 39,504 registered voters, 27,893 or 70.6% participated.
Askeran: Of 12,104 registered voters, 9,611 or 79.4% participated.
Hadrut: Of 8,796 registered voters, 6,707 or 76.3% participated
Martakert: Of 13,372 registered voters, 9,942 or 73.3% participated
Martuni: Of 17,466 registered voters, 12,657 or 72.5% participated
Shahumyan: Of 2140 registered voters, 1,600 or 74.8% participated
Shushi: Of 3,979 registered voters, 2,853 or 71.7% participated
Kashatagh: Of 7,101 registered voters, 4,799 or 67.5% participated
One district in Yerevan: Of 784 registered voters, 409 or 52.2% participated
Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s presidential candidate Davit Ishkhanyan went cast his ballot and later told reporters that he unity and a peaceful future.
“I cast my ballot for unity and peaceful future, which at some point in Artsakh’s political reality means the ARF’s complete participation,” Ishkhanyan told reporters.
Ishkhanyan said he found the active participation of the voters encouraging, given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, adding that he hoped the people of Artsakh will express their will with the elections.
He also emphasized that the concepts of government and statehood must be distinguished and separated, when asked to comment about potential interference by Armenia’s authorities in the Artsakh elections.
“If a government is working with for the statehood—for the future of the state—the posturing of the Armenian government becomes secondary. The Republic of Armenia must be the protector of the Republic of Artsakh, as the guarantor of its security and independence,” said Ishkhanyan.
The ARF candidate also said that his campaign had fielded concerns about violations during voting, which had been conveyed to security officials.
Earlier on Tuesday, outgoing president Bako Sahakian and his wife, Anahit, cast their ballots in the election.
Outside of the polling station, Sahakian told reporters that he plans to stay in Artsakh and, to the best of his abilities, assist the state.