Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election, 2012

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Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election, 2012
Republic of Artsakh
← 2007 19 July 2012 (2012-07-19) 2017 →
Turnout 73.64%
  Bako Sahakyan.jpg Վիտալի Բալասանյան.jpg
Nominee Bako Sahakyan Vitaly Balasanyan
Party Independent Independent
Popular vote 47,085 22,966
Percentage 66.7% 32.5%

President before election

Bako Sahakyan


Bako Sahakyan

Coat of arms of Artsakh.svg
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Presidential elections were held in the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh on 19 July 2012.[1] Incumbent President Bako Sahakyan was re-elected for a second five-year term, receiving around two-thirds of the vote.

Electoral system[edit]

A total of 98,909 voters registered for the elections.[2] Voting took place in 274 electoral districts, with an additional polling station in Yerevan, Armenia.[1]


Four candidates registered to run in the election; incumbent President Bako Sahakyan, Deputy Minister of Defence Vitaly Balasanyan, the rector of Stepanakert University Arkady Soghomonyan and Valery Khachatryan.[1] Khachatryan later pulled out of the election race.[3]

As part of the campaign, Balasanyan sent an open letter to Sahakyan, claiming that "authorities have accumulated a vast experience of fraud, illegal involvement of law enforcement and national security agencies in the electoral processes, an inflation of the number of voters on voters’ lists, different kinds of pressure on voters, etc. This has led to apathy in society, distrust of people in the electoral process in the country and a decline of the image of the state."

Campaigning ended on 17 July at midnight, with no campaigning allowed on the day before the election.[1]


e • d Summary of the 19 July 2012 Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election results
Candidate Votes %
Bako Sahakyan 47,085 64.65
Vitaly Balasanyan 22,966 31.53
Arkady Soghomonyan 594 0.81
Blank or invalid 2,188 3.00
Total votes cast 72,833 100.00
Turnout 72,833 73.64
Abstention 26,076 26.36
Total eligible voters 98,909 100.00
Source: Panorama, RIA Novosti


Due to Nagorno-Karabakh's being de jure part of Azerbaijan, recognised as such by the international community, the election did not receive international support.

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton stated that the EU did not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which the presidential election was held.[4] NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai described the election as counter-productive for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and said that NATO did not intend to recognise it.[5][6] Chair of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Eamon Gilmore released a statement according to which the OSCE does not recognise the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and thus the election will not have any impact on the ongoing peace negotiations.[7]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan called the election "a provocative attempt," contrary to efforts in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.[8] A spokesperson for the ministry added that every foreign citizen who attended the election as an observer would be declared persona non grata and denied entry into Azerbaijan in the future.[9][10] In the following days, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkey,[11][12] Romania,[13] Georgia,[14] Russia,[15] Germany,[16] Latvia,[17][18] and Iran[19] and embassies of Israel,[20] the United Kingdom,[21] Canada, Australia, and New Zealand,[22] made similar statements in denying the legitimacy of the election.


  1. ^ a b c d "Presidential Election Campaign underway in the Nagorno-Karabakh « Caucasus Elections Watch". 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  2. ^ "Incumbent President Wins Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential Poll | World | RIA Novosti". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  3. ^ "Valery Khachatryan withdraws from NKR presidential election race - Politics - Panorama | Armenian news". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  4. ^ "Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on Nagorno Karabakh" (PDF). European Union. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  5. ^ "News from Azerbaijan in Armenian". Armenia.Az. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  6. ^ NATO refuses to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh polls. Vestnik Kavkaza. 19 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Очередная возня на оккупированных землях | Политика". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  8. ^ "МИД Азербайджана расценивает факт проведения т.н. выборов в Нагорном Карабахе как попытку провокации - Trend". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  9. ^ "Баку: Выборы в Нагорном Карабахе "наносят удар по переговорному процессу"". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  10. ^ © Меркатор (2012-07-14). "Наблюдателям на выборах в Карабахе могут запретить въезд в Азербайджан | В мире | Лента новостей "РИА Новости"". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  11. ^ "МИД Турции решительно осуждает проведение т.н. выборов в Нагорном Карабахе - Trend". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  12. ^ Karabakh votes in presidential election. Hurriyet Daily News. 20 July 2012.
  13. ^ Foreign Ministry: Nagorno-Karabakh 'presidential election' illegitimate. Romanian Business News - ACTMedia. 20 July 2012.
  14. ^ Georgia Doesn’t Recognize Nagorno-Karabakh Elections. Eurasia Review. 21 July 2012.
  15. ^ Итоги мирного процесса по Карабаху не могут зависеть от проведения там выборов - МИД РФ. IA Regnum. 20 July 2012
  16. ^ Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union condemns Karabakh elections. Vestnik Kavkaza. 19 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Latvian Foreign Ministry Said It Does Not Recognize Election in Nagorno-Karabakh | RIA Novosti" (in Russian). Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  18. ^ Latvia doesn't recognize NKR presidential poll. 20 July 2012.
  19. ^ ‘Bahrain crisis should top the agenda of proposed Islamic summit in Mecca’. The Tehran Times. 24 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Israel supports Catherine Ashton's statement on so-called presidential elections in Nagorno-Karabakh | Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  21. ^ "Great Britain doesn`t recognize so-called presidential elections in Nagorno-Karabakh | Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  22. ^ "Австралия, Новая Зеландия и Канада осуждают проведение в Нагорном Карабахе президентских выборов - Политика, выборы, власть - Новости - ИА REGNUM". Retrieved 2012-07-20.