Armenia. According to
Countryaah.com, Presidential elections were held in Armenia on
September 22. The incumbent President Levon Ter-Petrosian
was nominated by the Electoral Commission as the winner in
the election. He received 51.7% of the vote. Several in the
opposition accused the president of electoral fraud, and the
European Security Organization, the OSCE, which was
responsible for monitoring the election, discovered major
irregularities in the vote. They also felt that the
presidential election victory could be called into question.
On November 4, Prime Minister Grant Bagratian filed his
resignation application. His successor was named Armen
Sarkisian, the country's ambassador to the United Kingdom.
In 1965, Armenians around the world commemorated for the
first time the 1915 genocide. In the capital of Armenia,
protesters demanded a return of the Nagornij Karabakh area.
The first request for reunification of Nagorny Karabakh and
Armenia was passed on to Soviet President Nikita Khrushov in
May 1963, and was signed by 2,500 residents of the divided
area. From then on, two opposite currents developed: in
Armenia, where they were supporters of the reunion, and in
Azerbadjan, where they were opponents. In 1968, violent
clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis occurred in
Stepanakert, the capital of Nagornij Karabakh.
In connection with the reforms initiated in the Soviet
Union in the late 1980's, the Armenians of Nagorny Karabakh,
which constituted 80% of the population, decided by a
referendum to be reunited with Armenia. The Karabakh local
parliament ratified the request and the resolution met in
Armenia with great enthusiasm. Moscow's reaction was the
opposing and Soviet forces brutally suppressed
demonstrations in Yerevan and Stepanakert, the capital of
The Pan-Armenian National Movement, which won the
elections in August 1990, was prepared to seek legal
independence. In the September 1991 referendum, 99.3% voted
in favor of a separation from the Soviet Union. The Armenian
parliament declared the country independent and in October
Levon Ter-Petrosan was elected president with 83% of the
Nagorny Karabakh was declared independent republic in the
same month, after 99% of the electorate voted for a
dissolution. Azerbadjan again responded with an economic and
military blockade of Nagorny Karabakh that became the start
of armed fighting between the two republics. Armenia joined
the Alliance Free Nations Organization in December 1991 and
became a full member of the United Nations in February 1992.
From early 1993, while pro-Armenian forces achieved
significant victories on the Nagorni Karabakh front, Yerevan
began to withdraw its unconditional support for the
Armenians, at least officially, and in September, Azerbadjan
launched a financial blockade of Armenia.
The Armenian economy began to recover in 1994 and 1995,
in part because of the good relationship with Iran, which
weakened the consequences of the Azerbaijan blockade. In May
1994 - at a time when the Armenian forces, according to the
Azerbaijanis, had conquered an area of 12,000 km2,
the Russian press enabled the conclusion of a ceasefire in
Nagorny Karabakh. About 20,000 people had lost their lives
during the war, while 1 million had been run away. During
1995 and the first months of 1996, peace negotiations
between the warring parties continued.
Despite charges of electoral fraud and violent
demonstrations in the streets, Ter-Petrosan began his second
term, after being declared the winner of the election, held
in September 1996. In August 1997, the governments of
Yerevan and Moscow signed a far-reaching political, economic
agreement, scientific, cultural and defense cooperation.