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Ex-Presidential Candidate Starts Karabakh Opposition Group

Vitaly Balasanian got more than 32 percent of votes in the July 19 presidential poll.
STEPANAKERT -- A former opposition presidential candidate in Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region is launching a new opposition group.

Retired army General Vitaly Balasanian, who got more than 32 percent of the vote in the July 19 presidential poll, told journalists on August 3 that the group's main goal would be "to establish social justice and make the national wealth accessible to all people."

Incumbent Bako Sahakian won over 66 percent of the vote in the election, securing his second term in office.

Azerbaijan has condemned the poll as "illegitimate."

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

The self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which will hold parliamentary elections in 2014, is not recognized internationally.