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Breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh Region’s Incumbent Leader Wins Disputed Poll


A foreign observer monitors voting at a polling station in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, on July 19.

A foreign observer monitors voting at a polling station in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, on July 19.

Preliminary results show the incumbent separatist leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian-controlled territory inside Azerbaijan, has won the presidential election staged by the separatist authorities.

The results show Bako Sahakian winning more than 66 percent of the vote on July 19.

Retired General Vitaly Balasanian was taking more than 32 percent.

Reports say 80 observers from 15 countries monitored the poll.

Azerbaijan has condemned the poll as "illegitimate" and warned of repercussions against foreigners who came to the territory to observe the voting.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in conflict for around three decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, with a fragile cease-fire in place since 1994.

The self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh has not been recognized by any other country.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS

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