Bako Sahakyan has been re-elected as President of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) at a vote held in the territory's parliament on Wednesday (19 July). There were two nominations for the post: Eduard Aghabekyan, who was nominated by the Movement 88 faction, and incumbent Bako Sahakyan, who was nominated by the Fatherland, Dashnaktsutyun, and Democracy factions of the parliament of the self-declared entity.
Previous heads of NKR were elected by popular vote, but changes to the rules earlier this year meant that forthwith the leader of the self-declared republic is elected by a vote by MPs. Only persons of Armenian ethnicity participate in the NKR political processes. Practically the entire Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh was displaced by the conflict in 1991-4.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani government dismissed the elections as an Armenian act of self-deception. The spokesperson of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on Monday (17 July)said that "the holding of fabricated 'presidential election' by illegal 'parliament' of puppet regime is ridiculous and is nothing other than self-deception".
The spokesman went on to say that "the illegal regime established by Armenia in the temporarily occupied territories of Azerbaijan is ultimately nothing other than the product of aggression and occupation and bloody ethnic cleansing."
photo: Bako Sahakian (archive picture)
"Armenia will focus on the expansion of economic cooperation in the BSEC region, and will promote the agenda through existing mechanisms in the upcoming six months", Foreign Minister Nalbandian told the organisation's Ministerial Council at its meeting in Kiev.