President of Artsakh

The President of Artsakh is the head of state and head of government of the de facto Republic of Artsakh.

In a constitutional referendum held in 2017, citizens of the Republic voted in favor of transforming Artsakh into a presidential system. On 19 July 2017 the National Assembly voted to elect the President for the next three years until the next general election which will be held in 2020.[1] The incumbent, Bako Sahakyan, was re-elected. If it wasn’t for the amendment to the constitution, he would have had to step down in 2017 after serving two consecutive five-year terms.

President of the Republic of Artsakh
Արցախի հանրապետության նախագահ  (Armenian)
Coat of arms of Artsakh
Bako Sahakyan
Bako Sahakyan

since 7 September 2007
StatusHead of state
Head of government
ResidencePresidential Palace
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term length5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderRobert Kocharyan
Formation29 December 1994

Constitutional powers

As a republic with presidential system, Artsakh grants significant power to the President who controls the executive branch, represents the country abroad and appoints the ministers. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and has the right to appoint and dismiss the supreme command of the armed forces and other troops.

Article 93 of the current constitution determines the functions of the president based on which the president

  1. shall administer the domestic and foreign policies of the State;
  2. shall exercise general management of the bodies of the state administration system;
  3. shall define the structure and rules of operation of the Government and other state bodies ;
  4. shall appoint and dismiss the state minister and ministers;
  5. shall administer state property and finances;
  6. shall make appointments to the state positions, in cases prescribed by law;
  7. may form advisory bodies;
  8. shall represent the Republic of Artsakh in international relations, sign international treaties, present international agreements to the National Assembly for ratification and sign their ratification forms, approve, suspend or revoke the international agreements not requiring ratification;
  9. shall appoint and recall the diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Artsakh to foreign countries and international organizations; receive the credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives of foreign states and international organizations;
  10. may issue decree on not holding elections and referendum during martial law;
  11. may dissolve the National Assembly except for one-year period following the opening of the first parliamentary session, in times of war and emergency as well as when he/she, during martial law, has issued a decree on not holding elections;
  12. shall apply to the President of the National Assembly with a proposal to convene a special session or sitting of the National Assembly;
  13. shall submit the Draft State Budget to the National Assembly;
  14. shall have the right to legislative initiative;
  15. shall apply to the National Assembly with a recommendation of amnesty;
  16. may deliver an address to the people and the National Assembly;
  17. shall submit to the National Assembly an annual communication on the implementation progress and results of his/her Program of previous year and on the Program of following year;
  18. shall propose to the National Assembly a candidate for the Prosecutor General; at the recommendation of the Prosecutor General, shall appoint and dismiss the Deputy Prosecutor Generals;
  19. shall appoint one  member-lawyer of the Supreme Judicial Council;
  20. in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situations,  shall take measures appropriate to  the situation and address the people on that matter; if necessary, shall declare state of emergency;
  21. shall decorate with orders and medals of the Republic of Artsakh and confere the highest military and honorary titles, the highest diplomatic and other class ranks;
  22. shall decide on the issue of granting pardon to convicts under the procedure prescribed by law;
  23. shall, in the cases and under the procedure prescribed by law, decide on issues in respect of granting and terminating citizenship of the Republic of Artsakh;
  24. shall adopt normative and individual legal acts: such as decrees and executive orders.[2]



The Constitution of Artsakh requires that the President should be at least 35-years-old, being a citizen of only of the Republic of Artsakh for the preceding ten years and having resided permanently only in Artsakh at least preceding ten years.[3]

Term limits

The president is elected in a five year term and can be reelected only once.[4]

List of Heads of State (1992–present)

Chairmen of the Supreme Council (1992–1994)

Tenure Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Artur Mkrtchyan
7 January 1992 14 April 1992 Independent
2 Georgi Petrosian
15 April 1992 14 June 1993 Independent
3 Karen Baburyan
14 June 1993 29 December 1994 Independent

Presidents (1994–present)

Picture Name


Elected Term of Office Party
Took Office Left Office
5 1 Robert Kocharyan Robert Kocharyan
1996 29 December 1994 20 March 1997 Independent
6 2 No image Leonard Petrosyan
20 March 1997 8 September 1997 Independent
7 3 No image Arkadi Ghukasyan


8 September 1997 7 September 2007 Independent
8 4 Bako Sahakyan Bako Sahakyan



7 September 2007 Incumbent Independent

Latest election

28 members of National Assembly voted for Bako Sahakyan, 4 of them voted for Eduard Aghabekyan, while one of the MPs abstained.

Candidate Party nominee Votes for %
Bako Sahakyan PDA 28 87.5
Eduard Aghabekyan M88 4 12.5
Total 32 100

See also


  1. ^ Karabakh Parliament to Elect New President on July 19
  2. ^ "National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh| Official Web Site|". Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  3. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh, article 48, paragraph 2
  4. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh, article 88
2017 Artsakhian presidential election

Indirect presidential elections were held in the unrecognised Republic of Artsakh on 19 July 2017. The incumbent, Bako Sahakyan, was elected to a third term.

2020 Artsakhian general election

General elections are scheduled to be held in the Republic of Artsakh in 2020. Voters will elect the President and members of the National Assembly. It will be the first time the President and National Assembly are elected at the same time.

Arayik Harutyunyan

Arayik Harutyunyan (Armenian: Արայիկ Հարությունյան; born 14 December 1973) is a politician, State Minister from 2017 to 2018 and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Artsakh (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh). He was suggested by the President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan and was unanimously approved by the Parliament of Artsakh on 14 September 2007, by 32 out of 32 present parliamentarians. His term ended on 25 September 2017, following a constitutional amendment that abolished the office of prime minister. On the same day, he was appointed as State Minister by decree of the President.

Army Day (Armenia)

Army Day (Armenian: Բանակի օր) is a public holiday of Armenia celebrated on January 28. It commemorates the troops of the Armed Forces of Armenia. The Armenian Army was established on January 28, 1992, by decree of President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan, several months after declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.Army Day was first celebrated in 2001, after the President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, signed Army Day into law as an official holiday. Army Day is a non-working day. In the past, the President and Prime Minister of Armenia have conducted visits to Yerablur to pay homage to the fallen Armenian soldiers who died in the line of duty. Flowers are usually laid at the graves of notable military leaders such as, Vazgen Sargsyan and Andranik Ozanyan. The President of Artsakh, the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Chief of the General Staff and the Defence minister of Armenia also attend the celebrations. During the Army Day celebrations in 2019, the village of Rind in the Vayots Dzor Province unveiled and raised the largest known Armenian Flag in the country.

Bako (name)

Bako is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:


Brigitte Bako, actress

Jarosław Bako (born 1964), Polish footballer

László Bakó (1872–1928), Hungarian actor

Marius Bako (born 1985), New Caledonian footballer

Paul Bako, baseball player

Szibilla Margó Bakó, Hungarian painterGiven name:

Bako Sahakyan, president of Artsakh

Bako Touré (1939–2001), Malian footballer

Bako Sahakyan

Bako Sahakyan (Armenian: Բակո Սահակյան; born 30 August 1959) is the third president of the de facto Republic of Artsakh. He was first elected as President on 19 July 2007. On 19 July 2012 he was re-elected for a second five-year term, receiving approximately two-thirds of the votes. In 2017 he was re-elected indirectly for a three-year term. Sahakyan replaced Arkadi Ghukasyan, who had held the presidential post for two five-year terms.

Sahakyan was born in Stepanakert, NKAO, Azerbaijan SSR in 1960. After serving in the Soviet army, he worked for nine years in a Stepanakert factory. In 1990, he joined the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, of which he became a deputy commander. In 1999, he was named interior minister of Nagorno-Karabakh. He also led the Nagorno-Karabakh security service from 2001 to June 2007, when he resigned in order to run in the 2007 Nagorno-Karabakh presidential election.

Sahakyan ran as an independent and won the elections with 85 percent of the votes. Voters mainly turned to Sahakyan because of his record in the security services. He has pledged to seek full independence of Artsakh, using the example that international recognition of Kosovo as an independent state would pave the way for acceptance of Artsakh's sovereignty. He was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2012 and then indirectly in 2017 for a three-year term.

Sahakyan is married and has two children.His name is sometimes transcribed as Bako Sahakian or Saakian.

Derek Sherinian

Derek Sherinian (born August 25, 1966) is an American keyboardist who has toured and recorded for Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kiss, Steve Vai, and Joe Bonamassa. He was also a member of Dream Theater from 1994–99, is the founder of Planet X and also one of the founding members of Black Country Communion and Sons of Apollo. He has released seven solo albums that have featured a variety of prominent guest musicians, including guitarists Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Sheehan, Zakk Wylde and Al Di Meola.

Sherinian has distinguished himself by his aggressive "guitaristic" approach to his keyboard style. In 2018, he was voted #9 Greatest Keyboardist Ever in Prog Magazine. He has also appeared on the cover of numerous keyboard magazines around the world, including the November 2011 issue of Keyboard Magazine, which declared Sherinian a "Keyboard Hero for a new generation". He has also been called the "King of the Keys" by Guitar World magazine and the "Caligula of Keyboards" by Alice Cooper. His musical influences include Elton John, Van Halen and Jeff Beck.

He is of Greek and Armenian descent and has a special interest in Armenian history.

Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes (also known as The Voice of Rock) is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple, as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He currently fronts the supergroup Black Country Communion and fronted California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015. On 8 April 2016, Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

Hero of Artsakh

Hero of Artsakh (Armenian: Արցախի հերոս) is the highest title of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh. According to the President of Artsakh Official Website, the Hero of Artsakh title "is awarded for exclusive services in the defense of the state, strengthening its economic might, and for creating significant national values.""Golden Eagle" order is given to the persons awarded by the "Hero of Artsakh" highest title.In 2016 Robert Abajyan became the 24th "Hero of Artsakh" awardee, as well as the youngest person ever to hold the title at 19 years old.

Index of Artsakh-related articles

This page list topics related to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Leonard Petrosyan

Leonard Petrosyan (Armenian: Լեոնարդ Պետրոսյան; 13 October 1953 – 27 October 1999) was the second President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic for almost 6 months (20 March 1997 to 8 September 1997). He also served as Prime Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from December 1994 to June 1998. He was killed in the 1999 Armenian parliament shooting while serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia.

List of leaders of Middle Eastern and North African states

This is a list of leaders of Middle Eastern and North African states. It consists of the heads of state and government within the Arab League, and of other MENA countries outside it.

Politics of Artsakh

Politics of Artsakh takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Artsakh is the head of state and the head of government, and of a multi-party system; as of 2009, American-based non-governmental organisation Freedom House ranks the Artsakh above both Armenia and Azerbaijan in terms of political and civil rights. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the National Assembly. The republic is de facto independent and de jure a part of Azerbaijan.

None of the elections in Artsakh are recognised by international bodies such as the OSCE Minsk Group, the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, as well as numerous individual countries, such as Azerbaijan and Turkey, who also condemned and called them a source of increased tensions.

President of the National Assembly of Artsakh

The President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh (Armenian: Ազգային ժողովի նախագահ, Azgayin zhoghovi naxagah) is the Speaker of the House in the Parliament of Artsakh.

Until 1995, the post was called Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. From January 1992 to December 1994, until Robert Kocharyan was elected as the President of Artsakh, the Chairman was de facto the head of state of the republic.

The incumbent speaker is Ashot Ghulian, since 1 July 2005.

Prime Minister of Artsakh

The Prime Minister of Artsakh was the head of government of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh between 1992 and 2017.

The position of Prime Minister was established in 1992, and was appointed by the head of state—the President. In a constitutional referendum held in 2017, citizens voted in favour of transforming Artsakh into a presidential system and the office of Prime Minister was abolished. The President become both the head of state and the head of government.This is a list of the Prime Ministers of the Republic of Artsakh.

Republic Day (Armenia)

Republic Day (Armenian: Հանրապետության օր) is a national holiday in Armenia marking the anniversary of the First Armenian Republic in 1918. It is commonly celebrated with fireworks, concerts, torchlight marches, parades, and parties. It is considered to be the national day of Armenia.


Sahakian (Armenian: Սահակեան) or Sahakyan (Սահակյան) is a fairly common surname in Armenia originating from the patronymic Armenian equivalent to Isaac. Sahakian translates to Son of Isaac, or descendant of Isaac.

The surname can refer to the following people:

Aramais Sahakyan (b. 1936), an Armenian poet and translator

Avetik Sahakyan (1863 – 1933), former Parliamentary President of Armenia

Bako Sahakyan (b. 1960), president of Artsakh

Barbara Sahakian American-born neuroscientist, based in Cambridge, UK

Henry D. Sahakian, an Iranian-American businessman, the founder of Uni-Mart

Jack Sahakian (1931 – 1995), an American actor

Norayr Sahakyan (b. 1987), an Armenian football player

Oshin Sahakian (b. 1986), an Iranian basketball player

Sumbat Saakian (1951 – 1993), a politician in the Government of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic

William S. Sahakian (1922– 1986), an American philosopher

State Minister of Artsakh

The State Minister of Artsakh is a political post in the Republic of Artsakh. The position was introduced after constitutional amendments which was approved in a constitutional referendum in 2017 and after Prime Minister of Artsakh's post was abolished.

The current State Minister is Grigory Martirosyan.

Vitaly Balasanyan

Vitaly Balasanyan (Armenian: Վիտալի Բալասանյան, born March 5, 1959), is the secretary of the National Security Council of the Republic of Artsakh, a former presidential candidate and retired Major General.

Presidents of Artsakh
Republic of Artsakh Artsakh presidential elections
Direct elections
Indirect elections
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Heads of

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