YEREVAN–Karabagh’s new parliament held its first session on Thursday and elected its leadership. The new speaker of the local assembly is Ashot Ghulian the leader of the Democratic Party of Artsakh (AZhK). Ghulian resigned as Karabagh’s minister of education and culture before taking up the new post. He had previously served as foreign minister.
In his acceptance speech–Ghulian pledged to adhere to "good traditions of the previous parliament." The parliament’s deputy speaker–Rudik Hyusnunts–is a senior member of the Azat Hayrenik (Free Fatherland) party that finished second with 10 seats.
Other Azat Hayrenik deputies–including the party’s leader Arayik Harutiunian–were elected as chairmen of two of the Karabagh National Assembly six standing committees.
Ghukasian–insisting that the election–monitored by over a hundred representatives of foreign non-governmental organizations–was "truly free–fair and transparent," urged lawmakers to be "active" in their work in order to make government more efficient.