Stepanakert, September 8 (RFE/RL) -- Arkadii Ghukasyan was sworn in today as the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh following his victory in the recent presidential election.
Addressing a special session of the Nagorno-Karabakh parliament, Ghukasyan, who until now was the unrecognized republic's foreign minister, vowed to be a guarantor of the region's "independence, democracy and freedom."
Ghukasyan got around 89.3 percent of the vote in the election, defeating two other candidates. The vote was condemned as illegitimate by the international community but was hailed by Armenia.
RFE/RL's correspondent in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital, Stepanakert, says the swearing-in ceremony was attended by a high-level Armenian delegation that included its interior and national security and foreign ministers and the chairman of the Constitutional Court. Among other Armenian guests were former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan and leaders of the three main opposition parties: Vazgen Manukyan of the National Democratic Union, Paruyr Hayrikyan of the Self-Determination Union and Ruben Hakobyan of the banned Dashnak party.
Ghukasyan is expected to appoint Nagorno-Karabakh's new prime minister later this week.