The self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has a new leader, Bako Saakian, who currently serves as the territory's security chief. Saakian has tried to cast himself as a proponent of democratization, but his policy agenda at present contains few specifics.
Saakian captured more than 85 percent of the vote in Karabakh's July 19 presidential vote, with de facto Deputy Foreign Minister Masis Mailian garnering just over 12 percent, according to final figures released by the territory's Central Election Commission. The remaining ballots were split among three other candidates. Given the lack of outside recognition of the territory's independence, the international community did not pass judgment on the legitimacy of the vote. [For details, see the Eurasia Insight archive].
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Elizabeth Owen is EurasiaNet's Caucasus news editor in Tbilisi. Sophia Mizante is a freelance photojournalist also based in Tbilisi.