75% of Artsakh population backed incumbent leader – pollster

Tert, Armenia

14:41 • 21.07.17

Three fourths of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) backed incumbent President Bako Sahakyan in the July 19 election, according to Aharon Adibekyan, the president of the Yerevan-based public opinion center Sociometer.

At a news conference on Friday, the pollster cited the results of a recent survey which he said revealed only a 10%-12% support for Vitaly Balasanyan, an Artsakh war veteran who is currently a parliament member.

Adibekyan highlighted the progress in the country over the past 10 years since Sahakyan’s first election as president. 

“The 10-year period saw conspicuous positive developments:  the population growth by 11,000, the GDP increase, and the implementation of special programs aimed at assisting newly formed families and boosting the birth rate,” he added. 

Adibekyan said he doesn’t think that a radical opposition would ever work in the country.

“Thus. the election by the National Assembly largely reflects the people’s will,” he noted.

“Karabakh is in a unique state, so it wouldn’t possibly be right to apply democratic standards to them,” the pollster added.

Gurgen Yeghiazaryan, a politician also attending the news conference, agreed to the positive evaluations, adding that Sahakyan “enjoys an absolute respect in not only Artsakh but also Armenia”.

As for the international community’s possible attitude, the politician said he thinks that their efforts should more strongly focus on Azerbaijan as a major target.

“The April four-day war introduced certain corrections into the government system, proofreading it to an extent,” he said, hailing Sahakyan’s re-election for the third, interim term.