Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Former security chief wins Karabakh presidential vote

Jul 20, 2007
Anatolian Times, Turkey

A presidential election in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh was won by a former head of security for the territory, Bako Sahakian, election officials said on Friday.

Sahakian won 85 percent of the vote at Thursday's polls in the unrecognised territory, the central election commission said after all votes had been counted.

His nearest rival, deputy foreign minister Masis Maylian, came a distant second with 12 percent of the vote.

The results were preliminary, with final confirmation expected late Friday.

Slightly more than 77 percent of the ethnic Armenian-controlled region's 92,000 registered voters took part, the elections commission said.

Backed by their ethnic brethren in Armenia, separatists seized Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s.

The war was one of the bloodiest of the many conflicts that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, claiming 30,000 lives and forcing nearly one million people on both sides to flee their homes.

Armenia and Azerbaijan remain officially at war over Karabakh and the dispute is a major source of instability in the strategic South Caucasus region wedged between Iran, Russia and Turkey.


Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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