STEPANAKERT — According to official results of presidential runoff elections in Artsakh, businessman and former Prime Minister  Araik Harutyunyan, has cruised to a comfortable victory.

The Central Election Commission of Artsakh shows that Harutyunyan received 88% of the votes (39,860), while Masis Mayilyan received 12% of the votes (3,784).

The second round of election turnout was 45% of eligible voters. The total number of voters in Artsakh is 104,777.

Speaking after the announcement of his victory, Harutyunyan stated the economic fallout from coronavirus will be his administration’s first major challenge.

“We must unite not only in Artsakh but also … rally around Armenia’s authorities as they now bear the main burden of responsibility for addressing that problem,” he told reporters. “Schadenfreude and political disagreements are our main enemy on this front.”

Armenian President Armen Sargsyan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan congratulated Araik Harutyunyan on his victory.

Prime Minister Pashinyan also congratulated Artsakh Armenians on completing the elections. “They mandated authorities to further strengthen the security of Artsakh and represent it in the peace process,” Pashinyan tweeted on Wednesday. “We continue our close cooperation with Artsakh to reach our common goals.”

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