WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 31, with a 73.5 percent turnout, the Republic of Artsakh held free and democratic elections for president and parliament, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
“The Assembly congratulates all candidates that ran for office and applauds the people of Artsakh for their ongoing commitment to fundamental democratic values. The Assembly reiterates its support for the democratic process in Artsakh and for the right of its people to govern themselves in peace and security,” stated Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “Democracy and the aspiration for the fundamental tenets of the rule of law and good governance should be encouraged and supported,” Ardouny continued.
The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh issued the following statement, which reads in part: “We are convinced that the strengthening of democratic traditions and their spread throughout the South Caucasus will become an important contribution to ensuring peace, stability and predictability in the region, as well as create the necessary conditions for the final settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict by exclusively peaceful means.”
The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Armenia stated, “The right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination is the foundation for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This reality has been fully reflected in the principles and elements of settlement presented by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which envisage the determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will.”
During the election process, Azerbaijan continued to violate the cease-fire agreement and targeted Armenian villages. The Assembly strongly condemns these attacks and renews its call for the United States to suspend all military and security assistance to Azerbaijan in view of these hostilities.
The presidential election results were reported by the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Artsakh as follows:
Arayik Harutyunyan – 49.26% (Free Motherland-UCA Alliance)
Masis Mayilyan – 26.4% (New Artsakh Alliance)
Vitali Balasanyan – 14.7% (Justice Party of Artsakh)
Davit Ishkhanyan – 2.56% (Armenian Revolutionary Federation)
Ashot Ghoulyan – 2.3% (Democratic Party of Artsakh)
Hayk Khanumyan – 1.3% (National Renaissance Party)
Vahan Badasyan – 1 percent (United Armenia Party)
Davit Babayan – 0.8% (Conservative Party of Artsakh)
Ruslan Israyelyan – 0.5% (Independence Generation Party)
Kristin Balayan – 0.3% (Independent candidate)
Ashot Dadayan – 0.3% (Independent candidate)
Bella Lalayan – 0.2% (Independent candidate)
Melsik Poghosyan – 0.2% (Independent candidate)
Sergey Amiryan – 0.2% (Independent candidate)
The top two presidential candidates, Arayik Harutyunyan (49.26%) and Masis Mayilyan (26.4%), will be on the ballot for a second round to take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
As for the parliamentary election results, of the twelve contesting parties, five secured participation in parliament by passing the 5% threshold for parties and 7% for blocs according to the report from Artsakh Central Election Commission Chairwoman, Srbuhi Arzumanyan. The elected parliamentary parties are Free Motherland-UCA Alliance (40.4%), United Homeland Party (23.63%), Justice Party of Artsakh (7.9%), Armenian Revolutionary Federation (6.4%), and Democratic Party of Artsakh (5.81%).
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.