Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election, 2012
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Presidential elections were held in the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh on 19 July 2012. Incumbent President Bako Sahakyan was re-elected for a second five-year term, receiving around two-thirds of the vote.
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. Khachatryan later pulled out of the election race.
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.
|Blank or invalid||2,188||3.00|
|Total votes cast||72,833||100.00|
|Total eligible voters||98,909||100.00|
|Source: Panorama, RIA Novosti|
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. 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. 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.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan called the election "a provocative attempt," contrary to efforts in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 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. In the following days, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Romania, Georgia, Russia, Germany, Latvia, and Iran and embassies of Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, made similar statements in denying the legitimacy of the election.
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