President of the Republic of Artsakh
Արցախի հանրապետության նախագահ (Armenian)
Президент Нагорно-Карабахской Республики (Russian)
Emblem of the Republic of Artsakh.svg
Arayik Harutyunyan.png
Arayik Harutyunyan

since 21 May 2020
StatusHead of state
Head of government
ResidencePresidential Palace
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term length5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderRobert Kocharyan
Formation29 December 1994

The president of Artsakh or president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 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.

Former prime minister and state minister Arayik Harutyunyan is the incumbent president elected in 2020 Artsakhian general election.[1][2]

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 Artsakh Defence Army 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.[3]



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.[4]

Term limits

The president is elected in a five-year term and can be reelected only once.[5]

List of heads of state (1992–present)

Chairmen of the Supreme Council (1992–1994)

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
Artur Mkrtchyan (cropped).jpg
Artur Mkrtchyan
7 January 1992 14 April 1992 † 98 days ARF
Georgi Petrosyan.JPG
Georgi Petrosian
(born 1952)
15 April 1992 14 June 1993 1 year, 60 days ARF
Karen Baburyan [hy]
14 June 1993 29 December 1994 1 year, 198 days Independent

Presidents (1994–present)

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party Elected
Took office Left office Time in office
Robert Kocharyan
Robert Kocharyan
(born 1954)
29 December 199420 March 19972 years, 81 daysIndependent1996
Leonard Petrosyan
Leonard Petrosyan
20 March 19978 September 1997172 daysIndependent
Arkadi Ghukasyan
Arkadi Ghukasyan
(born 1957)
8 September 19977 September 200710 yearsIndependent1997
Bako Sahakyan
Bako Sahakyan
(born 1960)
7 September 200721 May 202012 years, 257 daysIndependent2007
Arayik Harutyunyan
Arayik Harutyunyan
(born 1973)
21 May 2020Incumbent2 years, 170 daysFree Motherland2020

Latest election

Main article: 2020 Artsakhian general election

Candidate Party / Alliance First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Arayik Harutyunyan Free Motherland - UCA Alliance 36,076 49.17 39,860 88.01
Masis Mayilyan Independent 19,360 26.39 5,428 11.99
Vitaly Balasanyan Justice 10,855 14.79
David Ishkhanyan Armenian Revolutionary Federation 1,873 2.55
Ashot Ghulian Democratic Party of Artsakh 1,683 2.29
Hayk Khanumyan National Revival 962 1.31
Vahan Badasyan United Armenia Party 743 1.01
David Babayan Artsakh Conservative Party 587 0.80
Ruslan Israelyan Generation of Independence Party 371 0.51
Christine Balayan Independent 202 0.28
Ashot Dadayan Independent 198 0.27
Bella Lalayan Independent 162 0.22
Sergey Amiryan Independent 160 0.22
Melsik Poghosyan Independent 141 0.19
Invalid/blank votes 2,622 1,876
Total 75,995 100 47,164 100
Registered voters/turnout 104,866 72.47 104,777 45.01
Source: CEC, CEC

See also


     α.   ^ Assassinated in the 1999 Armenian parliament shooting.


  1. ^ "Arayik Harutyunyan sworn in as Artsakh's fourth President". Public Radio of Armenia. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  2. ^ LLC, Helix Consulting. "Arayik Harutyunyan assumes post of President of the Republic of Artsakh – – Hot news from Armenia". Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  3. ^ "National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh| Official Web Site|". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  4. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh, article 48, paragraph 2
  5. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh, article 88