Artsakh Parliamentary Results Confirmed; Presidential Election Heads to Runoff

Stepanakert, Republic of Artsakh

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.

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NR# 2020-009

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Armenian Assembly Applauds The People Of Artsakh As Presidential And Parliamentary Elections Are Held

Washington, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) applauds the people of Artsakh for their commitment to and participation in Artsakh’s (Nagorno Karabakh) democratic process, reported the Assembly.

Today, both presidential and parliamentary elections were conducted with a turnout of over 73 percent of registered voters. Based on initial reports, the elections, which were multi-party and multi-candidate, were conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner with nearly 50 polling stations providing live streams online. Current president Bako Sahakyan was not running for re-election.

Armenian National Institute Director Dr. Rouben Adalian, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan, Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Van Krikorian, and Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny standing by a copy of the American Declaration of Independence under the U.S. Capitol Rotunda during his visit to Washington, D.C. 2018

Former Artsakh Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan (49.26% of the vote) and current Artsakh Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan (26.4% of the vote), who received the highest number of votes, will face each other in a runoff election set to take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

In Artsakh’s parliamentary election, of the twelve contesting parties, five secured participation in parliament by passing the 5 percent threshold for parties and 7 percent for alliances 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%).

“We congratulate the people and government of Artsakh for their ongoing commitment to democracy and the rule of law,” stated Armenian Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “Regrettably, but predictably, on the eve of the elections in Artsakh, the Azeris targeted Armenian villages wounding two servicemen as well as a child. Until Azerbaijan fundamentally changes its policy of targeting Armenians, the prospects for peace remain elusive at best,” added the Co-Chairs.

“In addition, statements about Artsakh’s elections from one of the least democratic countries in the world, Turkey, are neither helpful nor warranted. This misplaced criticism is just more confirmation about the dangers authoritarian leaders such as Erdogan and Aliyev pose to Armenian Christians and to the rest of the planet and further demonstrates the need for Artsakh to be directly involved in the negotiation process,” the Co-Chairs continued.

Against this background, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ statement is an apparent step backward from its 2012 statement on Artsakh’s presidential election. “This is all the more troubling given the recently issued constructive statement calling for the heightened observance of the cease-fire in light of the pandemic. It is deeply troubling to see any OSCE country not endorse democratic government when there is such an increase in authoritarianism in a growing number of OSCE member countries. American and OSCE principles require support for democracy and free elections, not genocidal regimes. This statement also, unfortunately, reflects a step backward in the peace process as the Minsk Group mandate included full participation of the NK elected authorities in negotiations, and this indicates that a sustainable, fair and mutually agreed resolution of the conflict is not close,” Assembly Co-Chairs Barsamian and Krikorian concluded.

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.

Editor’s Note: This release was updated to reflect the published results.

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NR# 2020-008

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