The Referendum on Independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic

The Referendum on Independence of the NKR took place on December 10, 1991. The voters’ list comprised 132.328 citizens eligible to vote. 108.736 citizens, or 82,2% of the total number of the registered voters took part in the Referendum. 108.615 people (99,89 %) voted “for” the independence, 24 (0,02 %) voted “no” and 96 ballot papers were considered invalid.

The preparation, implementation, and summing-up of the referendum results were carried out in accordance with the “Temporary Regulation on the Conduct of a Referendum in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic” that came into force on November 27, 1991 during the session of the NKR Council of People’s Deputies. The Referendum day was affirmed during the Session.

The Central Electoral Commission of the NKR had set up the necessary conditions for holding the Referendum throughout the country, including Azerbaijani-populated settlements. In particular, a telegram was sent to the Shushi Region’s administration with a request to organize the participation of the Azerbaijani population of the region in the referendum. Ballot papers were sent to the Azerbaijani-populated settlements of the NKR.

Bulletins were written in Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Russian languages, and contained the following question: “Do you agree that the proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh Republic be a sovereign state, to independently determine the forms of cooperation with other states and communities?”

According to the regulation approved by the Council of People’s Deputies of the NKR, the question submitted to referendum was deemed adopted if at least the two-third of voters with a turnout of at least 50% voted for it.

A group of independent observers was following the course of the Referendum and presented its conclusion in the relevant Act on the results of the referendum on the independence of the NKR. To cover the process of voting in the NKR, reporters from “Radio Rossii”, “Echo Moskvi”, “Izvestiya”, “Moskovskiye Novosti”, “Megapolis-Express”, “Stolica”, “Panorama”, “Literaturnaya Gazeta”, “Le Quotidien de Paris”, “France-Press” and a number of other periodicals and agencies, as well as TV channels of Russia, the US, and Bulgaria visited the NKR.

The Azerbaijani population of the NKR refused to participate in the Referendum, instead supported the aggression unleashed by the Azerbaijani authorities against Artsakh by taking an active part in it. On the day of the Referendum, Stepanakert, and other Armenian settlements, were fired at; 10 civilians were killed and 11 were wounded.

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