New South Wales Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friends Congratulate Newly Elected President of Artsakh

By ANC-AU | Wednesday, 29 April 2020

SYDNEY: The New South Wales Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group has congratulated the newly elected President of the Republic of Artsakh, Arayik Harutyunyan following elections held earlier this month, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

Over 72% of registered voters cast their ballots in the first round of elections and two main frontrunners emerged, Harutyunyan of the Free Motherland Party and Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan running as an Independent. Since no candidate received 50% of the votes, a second round of Presidential elections were called, where Harutyunyan proved the runaway victor.

The Speaker of the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Assembly, Jonathan O'Dea wrote a letter to Harutyunyan as Chair of the NSW Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group.

“I extend warm congratulations,” said O’Dea, who met the President-elect on his visit to Australia in 2018. “(Our) commendations also to the people of Artsakh for their participation in the successful elections during this global pandemic.”

O’Dea said the Friendship Group looks forward to working with the new President.

“Please accept our most sincere wishes for a successful term as President, and we look forward to strengthening our friendship and potentially meeting again in the future," O'Dea said. “Best wishes in building a united and prosperous Republic of Artsakh."

The Member for Davidson also congratulated Bako Sahakyan for completing his service as President of the Republic of Artsakh.

“I fondly remember his meeting with the Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group delegates, including current Premier Gladys Berejiklian, in Stepanakert during our visit in 2013,” wrote O’Dea, who is also part of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network of prominent Australians who support the junior Armenian Republic.

ANC-AU Executive Director Haig Kayserian extended words of gratitude to O'Dea and the Friendship Group.

“We thank the NSW Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group for their ongoing support of the Republic of Artsakh,” Kayserian said.

“They represent a Parliament that has recognised Artsakh as the independent state it is, while many of its Members’ support for the indigenous Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh has earned them a place on the Azerbaijani dictatorship's persona-non-grata list, including Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Speaker Jonathan O'Dea, Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord, Rev. Fred Nile, Dr. Hugh McDermott and former members Amanda Fazio, David Clarke and Marie Ficarra.”

The Republic of Artsakh’s Permanent Representative to Australia, Kaylar Michaelian added: "The NSW Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group have always supported the rights to self-determination, which means the rights to elections within the Republic of Artsakh, and Stepanakert thanks Mr. Jonathan O’Dea for his letter and the Group for their friendship."