December 10, 2012 marked the 21st anniversary of the national Referendum in Nagorno- Karabakh (Artsakh), which evidenced overwhelming popular endorsement of the newly-formed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
82% of the total number of Artsakh’s registered voters participated in the elections. The overwhelming majority of participants (99.98%) voted for proclamation of the independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, with its own authority to define co-operation with other states and entities.
Fifteen years later, on the same day in 2006, the people of independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have reaffirmed their commitment to live in a free and democratic state by adopting the republic’s main law – Constitution. A logical continuation of the state-building process, adoption of the Constitution has consolidated all the basic principles of the state sovereignty, and symbolized a new stage in the republic’s development.
Conducted in a full compliance with the international norms, the referenda represent pillars of Artsakh’s independent statehood, and development as a democratic society.
NKR President Bako Sahakyan addressed the nation on both occasions stressing that 1991 national referendum “preconditioned the whole course of our country’s future development” while adoption of the NKR Constitution reaffirmed Artsakh’s commitment to the “fundamental principles of democracy and universal values … proving that the chosen path is unshakeable and right, and its course is indivertible and firm.”
According to the NKR Office in the United States, symbolically, December 10 is the day of the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document, which sets out the fundamental human rights, inter alia, states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”