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Election in Nagorno-Karabakh: Pros and Contras20.07.2012 | 19:05
Today the presidential elections in Nagorno-Karabakh ended. Сurrent President Bako Sahakyan is leading with a significant gap from the other candidates. According to the CEC, 66.7% of the population voted for him.
In total, there were four candidates. They are Bako Sahakyan, the current president, Vitaly Balasanyan, former Deputy Defense Forces, Arkady Soghomonyan, deputy director of the Stepanakert Branch of the National Agrarian University of Armenia, and Valery Khachatryan, unemployed.
All of them were self-nominated candidates. But in the end, Valery Khachatryan, withdrew his candidacy and decided not to continue campaigning. Three candidates have left. The main struggle unfolded between Bako Sahakyan and Vitaly Balasanyan.
Having talked with the public about the Karabakh elections, you see that there are different opinions: some support the current president, some prefer General Balasanyan. And this makes us glad, because there is a noticeable competition, there is an alternative, people can make their choice.
Maroussia Petrosyan, a pensioner.
- I have voted at various elections of different levels starting from the Soviet era when I was 18. I'll give my voice for the current President Bako Sahakyan, with the hope that he will be re-elected, and our life will get better. And I want today's elections to be democratic.
I would like to wish Sahakyan luck; but he must reconsider his personnel policy. Around him there are many people whom he must shun in order to win the love of ordinary citizens.
Alisa Sarkisyan, a housewife.
- We are pleased with today's election, and hope that it will be fair and that the new president will be elected to be more concerned about the population. I prefer to re-elect the current President Sahakyan, so that he could continue his reforms. But Sahakian should look closely at his surroundings and think about whether he needs it, whether they are ballast for him and his policies.
Juliet Gabrielian, a pensioner.
- I hope very much that the election will be democratic. I went to the polls and voted for General Balasanyan. I have two children, a boy and a girl; we are refugees from Azerbaijan. They are adults, but they want to go to Russia, because they cannot find a job. The boy served in the Army, the girl has finished college. They cannot find job, and I cannot help, because you need connections everywhere.
I hope for some changes after the election. My attitude to the presidential candidates: I have carefully examined their programs, and I did like the program of Vitaly Balasanyan, because I cab feel care about people in it.
Garik Sargsyan, the Karabakh war veteran, unemployed.
- As a war veteran, I had a disability, but for some reason I was deprived of it. I have a small business, but I find it hard to survive and support family, because the taxes are very large; they have cut pension; I have two sons. We talked at home about the election and decided to vote for Vitaly Balasanyan, because we associate him with our worthy life. He says he will reduce taxes, which means that ordinary people can survive. And we remember him as a military general who was not hiding behind the backs of his subordinates.
All of the delegations have held a briefing after the election suggesting that the election was democratic. Russian delegation also held a briefing announcing the same idea, and saying it would be great to show such an activity in Russia. Liberal Democratic Party members also spoke about the geopolitical processes, willing independence to Nagorno-Karabakh.