STEPANAKERT—Artsakh President Bako Sahakian on Monday announced that he would not seek reelection in 2020 when the people of Artsakh are scheduled to vote for the next leader of the republic.
He made the announcement in an interview with the Public Television of Armenia and Artsakh.
“As you know our people adopted a new Constitution through a referendum in 2017, which provides for a transitional stage of three years. This period will be also used for harmonizing the legislation with the new Constitution. National presidential elections will be held in 2020 in line with the current Constitution. I want to officially announce that I will not participate in that election. My participation will be as a citizen of the Republic of Artsakh who elects a new president,” said Sahakian.
He added that he will take all the necessary steps to ensure free and transparent presidential and parliamentary elections.
“This is a conscious decision that derives from our value system and the imperative to establish a democratic and civilized state,” added Sahakian.
This comes on the heels of major government changes last week when State Minister Arayik Harutyunyan along with Artsakh national security and police chiefs resigned following three days of protests in Stepanakert from June 2 to 4 that erupted after two civilians were beaten on June 1 by NSS officers. At the end, 15 people were arrested in connection with the brawl.
Last year’s constitutional referendum referenced by Sahakian in the interview would have allowed the Artsakh president to seek reelection. The possibility of a third term for Sahakian caused some unease in Artsakh political circles.