Nominees for president of Artsakh. Graphic by ArtsakhPress.am

Artsakh’s Central Election Committee has received nomination applications from 14 potential candidates and 12 parties and blocs running for parliament in the upcoming general election set for March 31. This represents the largest ever pool of candidates running for office in Artsakh. By contrast there were seven parties contesting 2015 parliamentary election, three presidential candidates in 2012 and five in 2007 elections.

The following are the nominees for president: Ruslan Israelyan (Generation of Independence Party), Vitaly Balasanyan (Justice Party), David Babayan (Conservative Party), David Ishkhanyan (Dashnaktsutyun), Ashot Ghoulyan (Democratic Party), Hayk Khanumyan (National Revival Party), Arayik Harutyunyan (Bloc of Free Fatherland and United Civic Alliance), Vahan Badasyan (United Armenia Party), as well as nominees seeking registration without party affiliation: Masis Mayilian, Sergey Amiryan, Kristin Balayan, Bella Lalayan, Melsik Poghosyan and Ashot Dadayan.

Another anticipated candidate Grigori Sahakyan, who was the runner-up in recent elections for Stepanakert Mayor,  endorsed Masis Mayilian. 

In parliamentary election the following parties and blocs are seeking registration (in order of the size of candidates’ list):

Bloc of Free Fatherland and United Civic Alliance (Arayik Harutyunyan) – 65

Unified Homeland party (Samvel Babayan) – 62

Justice Party (Vitaly Balasanyan) – 35

ARF Dashaktsutyun (David Ishkhanyan) – 33

Democratic Party (Ashot Ghoulyan) – 33

New Artsakh Bloc (Masis Mayilian) – 31

National Revival Party (Hayk Khanumyan) – 20

Communist Party of Nagorno Karabakh – 17

Revolutionary Party of Artsakh – 17

Conservative Party (David Babayan) – 16

United Armenia (Vahan Badasyan) – 16

Note that Artsakh’s National Assembly has a total of 33 seats.  According to the election code, Artsakh’s CEC will consider the nominations for registration by February 25.