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Nagorno Karabakh: An Unrecognized Vote for an Unrecognized President

Whoever prevails in today’s de-facto vote in breakaway Nagorno Karabakh, the “black garden” of the Caucasus is not in for a game-changer. If there is any change, it is going to be in-house.  

This is the fifth de-facto election in the separatist history of Karabakh and the fifth time the international community has shrugged its shoulders at the territory’s claims that it is an independent country with on-the-level elections.

Azerbaijan says that without the ousted ethnic Azeri population, no vote can be legitimate in Karabakh. Most of the world concurs.

But the de-facto election matters for the impoverished, ethnic Armenian population of Karabakh. They face a choice between five more years of the same with incumbent Bako Saakian, the onetime head of the region's de-facto security servicesl, or a new broom with his two challengers, one ex-military and one academician.

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Nagorno Karabakh: An Unrecognized Vote for an Unrecognized President

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