Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election, 2007

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The third presidential election in the unrecognized country of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was held on 19 July 2007.[1] The incumbent Arkady Ghukasyan was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term and had endorsed Bako Sahakyan, who was the head of the National Security Service. Sahakyan was backed by the ruling Democratic Party of Artsakh, by two opposition parties, and by the current Armenian leadership. There was an approximately 80% turnout in the polls.[2]

His main challenger was considered to be Deputy Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan. Parliament deputy Armen Abgaryan, Communist Party of Artsakh leader Hrant Melkumyan, and Vanya Avanesyan, a professor at Artsakh State University, were also candidates.[3]


According to preliminary official results, turnout was 77.36% and Sahakyan won with 85.4% of the votes. Mayilyan won 12.2%, and none of the other three candidates polled more than 1.5%.[4]

e • d Summary of the 19 July 2007 Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election results
Candidate Votes %
Bako Sahakyan 59,326 85.12
Masis Mayilyan 8,734 12.53
Armen Abgaryan 867 1.24
Hrant Melkumyan 554 0.79
Vanya Avanesyan 212 0.30
Total valid (turnout 77.39%) 69,693 100.00
Invalid 1,594
Total 71,286
Source: NKR Central Election Commission

Sahakyan was sworn in on 7 September 2007.[5]

International reaction[edit]

Numerous international organizations such as the UN, the EU, NATO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE did not recognize the legitimacy of the presidential election in Nagorno-Karabakh.[6] The Presidency of the European Union stated that despite their position, the elections "should not have any impact on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Furthermore, the EU recalls that refugees and internally-displaced persons should be given the right to a safe, secure and dignified return of their homes in order to fully participate in electoral acts."[7]

Similarly, the chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers stated that it "reiterates its full support to the OSCE Minsk Group and its Co-Chairmen in their efforts towards a settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. It notes with concern that conducting such “elections”, thus pre-empting the outcome of the ongoing negotiations, cannot contribute to the resolution of the conflict. It calls on all parties concerned to intensify their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, in accordance with the commitment undertaken by Armenia and Azerbaijan upon accession to the Council of Europe."[8]