President of the Republic of Artsakh
Արցախի հանրապետության նախագահ (Armenian)
Президент Нагорно-Карабахской Республики (Russian)
StatusHead of state
Head of government
ResidencePresidential Palace
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term length5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderRobert Kocharyan
Formation29 December 1994
Final holderSamvel Shahramanyan
Abolished1 January 2024

The president of the Republic of Artsakh (Armenian: Արցախի Հանրապետության նախագահ, Russian: Президент Нагорно-Карабахской Республики) was 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 adopting a presidential system of governance.

Arayik Harutyunyan was elected president in the 2020 Artsakhian general election.[1][2] He resigned on 1 September 2023. On 9 September 2023, Samvel Shahramanyan was elected president by Artsakh's parliament to replace Harutyunyan.[3]

Following an Azerbaijani assault on 19 September 2023, Artsakh agreed to dissolve itself by 1 January 2024.[4]

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.[5]



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.[6]

Term limits

The president is elected for a five-year term and can be reelected only once.[7]

List of heads of state (1992–2024)

Chairmen of the Supreme Council (1992–1994)

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
Artur Mkrtchyan
Artur Mkrtchyan
7 January 199214 April 1992 †98 daysARF
Georgi Petrosian
Georgi Petrosian
(born 1952)
15 April 199214 June 19931 year, 60 daysARF
Karen Baburyan [hy]
Karen Baburyan [hy]
14 June 199329 December 19941 year, 198 daysIndependent

Presidents (1994–2024)

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 20201 September 20233 years, 103 daysFree Motherland2020
Davit Ishkhanyan
Davit Ishkhanyan
(born 1968)
1 September 202310 September 20239 daysARF
Samvel Shahramanyan
Samvel Shahramanyan
(born 1978)
10 September 20231 January 2024133 daysIndependent2023

Latest election

Main article: 2023 Artsakhian presidential election

Samvel ShahramanyanIndependent[b]2295.65
Valid votes23100.00
Invalid/blank votes00.00
Total votes23100.00
Registered voters/turnout3369.70
Source: National Assembly


Samvel ShahramanyanDavid IshkhanyanArayik HarutyunyanBako SahakyanArkadi GhukasyanLeonard PetrosyanRobert KocharyanKaren BaburyanGeorgi PetrosianArtur Mkrtchyan

See also



  1. ^ "Arayik Harutyunyan sworn in as Artsakh's fourth President". Public Radio of Armenia. 21 May 2020. Archived from the original on 29 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". Archived from the original on 30 May 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Սամվել Շահրամանյանն ընտրվեց Արցախի նախագահ". (in Armenian). Archived from the original on 23 September 2023. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  4. ^ "MSN". 28 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  5. ^ "National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh| Official Web Site|". Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  6. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh, article 48, paragraph 2
  7. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh, article 88