Presidential and parliamentary elections in Nagorno Karabakh are due to be held on March 31, according to the official announcement. So far, nine candidates are in the running for the presidency and about a dozen parties are expected to compete for seats in parliament.
While no opinion polls have been published, relative social media reach of the candidates suggests that the four leading contenders are retired Major General Vitaly Balasanyan, Former Karabakh Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan, leader of National Revival Party Hayk Khanumyan and current Karabakh Foreign Minister Masis Mayilian.
Most presidential candidates are associated with political parties that are also expected to run for parliament. These are Arayik Harutyunyan’s Free Fatherland, currently with most seats in parliament; Ishkhanyan’s Dashnaks, Ghoulyan’s Democrats, Khanumyan’s National Revival, Balasanyan’s Justice, Sahakyan’s Trust, Badasyan’s United Armenia and Israelyan’s Generation of Independence. Mayilian and Balayan are not associated with any parties.
Source: Focus on Karabakh, a project of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies