Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh has adopted its first constitution, according to preliminary reports from the central election commission.
Nearly 98% of voters have backed the constitution which reaffirms the region's commitment to independence even though it has never been recognised internationally.
The Nagorny Karabakh region declared itself independent from Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. A bitter war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which ended in 1994, left Armenia effectively in control of the enclave that is completely surrounded by Azerbaijan.
To this day, Nagorny Karabakh remains unrecognised by any country in the world.
President of the breakaway republic Arkady Gukasyan is sure Karabakh’s independence is the key to the region’s stability.“The international community under the pressure from Azerbaijan is whimsical. I don't think I am going to pay much attention to their judgment, they have to realise that the only way to peace in the region is through Karabakh's independence,”
Nagorny Karabakh’s president said.
Meanwhile Baku has rejected the referendum as having no legal standing.“No country and no organization have recognized the results on this referendum. It would be better for Armenian people to return to the sphere of international law. The so-called referendum is nothing and it doesn’t change anything for anybody,”
said political adviser of Azerbaijani president Fuad Akhundov.