On Sunday, September 17, mayoral elections took place in Yerevan with the lowest voter turnout in the history of city council elections. About 28.5-percent of Yerevan’s eligible voters cast ballots. PM Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party failed to earn enough votes to keep its majority in Yerevan’s city council, receiving 32.8-percent of total votes. The National Progress party, represented by ex-mayor Hayk Marutyan, came in second with 19.16-percent of total votes. The opposition Mother Armenia party, represented by Andranik Tevanyan, came in third with 15-percent of the votes. The Republic and Public voice parties came in fourth and fifth, respectively. All five parties will have seats in the new city council.
From September 19-20, thousands gathered outside the government building in Yerevan’s Republic Square to demand immediate actions to protect Artsakh. Protesters later called for the immediate resignation of PM Pashinyan’s administration for betrayal. Different political factions also suggested the formation of a temporary government.
On September 18, according to the agreement reached with the Stepanakert office of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the command of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh, about 23 tons of Armenian-made flour were transported to Stepanakert through the Berdzor Corridor in parallel to medical and hygiene supplies of Russian and Swiss production transported through the Akna (Aghdam)-Stepanakert road. The supplies are currently being held in the offices of the ICRC, where they will be handed over to the government of the Republic of Artsakh following extensive examinations. Products that do not pass examination, based on quality and origin, will be destroyed on the spot.
President of the Republic of Artsakh, Samvel Shahramanyan, appointed Artur Harutyunyan as the State Minister on September 18. Harutyunyan is the former Minister of Finance of the Republic of Artsakh, a former parliamentarian representing the “Free Homeland-United Civic Alliance” faction and chairman of the Standing Committee on Financial, Budgetary and Economic Management of the Artsakh National Assembly.
On September 20, the head of the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that in order to ensure the safety of passengers, all flights between Iran and both Armenia and Azerbaijan have been canceled until further notice.
In his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his support for Azerbaijan’s steps to preserve its territorial integrity, after Baku launched a military operation in Artsakh. Erdogan said that Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) is a part of Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory, and the imposition of another status for the breakaway region is unacceptable. He expressed Turkey’s expectation that Armenia fulfill its commitments, once again making claims to the so-called Zangezur corridor, a road that would pass through Armenian territory and connect Azerbaijan to its exclave Nakhichevan.