The July 20 de-facto presidential election in breakaway Nagorno Karabakh has turned out even more uneventful than anticipated. According to an early vote tally, incumbent Bako Saakian is poised to prevail with some 66.7 percent of the vote.
Saakian's main rival, Vitaly Balasanian, a Karabakh war hero and onetime de-facto deputy defense minister, finished with nearly a third of the vote.
Azerbaijan, which lays claim to the territory, has denounced the elections as illegitimate for the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Azeris driven from the territory.
A blurry spot on most world maps, Karabakh does not get to participate in the internationally mediated talks over its future, and world powers do not recognize the legitimacy of its elections.
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