|THE TRUTH OF ELECTIONS IN ARTSAKH AND THE FEAR OF TRUTH IN AZERBAIJAN|
|Sunday, 22 July 2012 17:41|
The fifth nationwide presidential elections have been held in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
Moreover, it became known just three hours after the opening of the polling stations. In the first report of the NKR CEC on the course of the presidential elections, which was published every three hours, it was noted that 26.2 percent of the 99,190 people included in the lists of voters had already voted.
This meant that the NKR presidential elections had taken place, because in accordance with the legislation of the Republic, the turnout threshold makes 25%. The preliminary figure of the voters' activeness on the voting results made 73.43%, which in itself indicates the level of the political maturity and civic responsibility of the NKR inhabitants. Again, according to the preliminary results, Acting President Bako Sahakyan has won the elections, getting 66.7% of the votes. His main opponent Vitaly Balasanyan was supported by 32.5% of the voters.
In fact, anyone hardly doubted that the elections would be a success, and such confidence was inspired by quite an extensive experience of the independent NKR in holding various- level elections - presidential, parliamentary and municipal, which, as we have repeatedly noted, were always held at a high level, getting complimentary assessments of international observers. These elections were not an exception.
It should be noted that a number of foreign observers, who arrived in Artsakh to observe the presidential elections, even before their start had gave their positive assessment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. As Director of the European Centre for Geopolitical Studies Mateusz Piskorsky (Poland) noted, in terms of its democratic development the NKR outstrips even the neighboring states recognized by the international community. And he noted that the will of the people, freely expressed at the nationwide elections held in accordance with the European standards of organization of the electoral process, must be respected.
It is a paradox, but international structures, including the European ones, which are advocates of democracy and consolidation of the norms and principles of democratic development of societies, are not in a hurry with such respect. It is known that the OSCE, the European Union and other international organizations do not recognize the elections held in unrecognized states. Frankly speaking, the position is strange, at least because whether they recognize the political processes in these states or not, the "unrecognized" do not stop to be members of the international community and continue building their domestic life on its democratic laws. However, this stance is not only strange, but even dangerous, because it encourages former parent states, in our case - Azerbaijan, for even greater radicalization of their approaches to a problem’s solution, including even a force method.
Do the above mentioned organizations realize this threat? Do they understand that further disregard of the de facto existing independent statehood of the NKR is deprived of any logic and common sense? We’d like to think so. If we follow the dynamics of international structures’ assessment given to the electoral processes in the NKR in the recent years, we can see that they have softened to a certain extent. Let us not be deluded and not assert that "the ice has finally begun to move", but some tendency to self-restraint is still observed. Thus, European Union High Representative on Foreign Policy and Security Issues Catherine Ashton, who, incidentally, has always expressed quite a tough position on the elections in the NKR, this time has made only a mild warning: "These elections should not prejudice the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh during the main framework of negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the conflict". The co-chair states of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia and the USA, simply abstained from making any statements. Let’s note in brackets that the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group provides to negotiate on a settlement of the Karabakh conflict with the ELECTED representatives of the parties to the conflict.
Is the attitude of the major centers of power to Nagorno-Karabakh changing? Let's refrain from a positive answer, though, again, some changes are still visible. But, Azerbaijan's attitude towards the Karabakh elections and Karabakh itself undergoes absolutely no changes. Official Baku would have betrayed itself if it had not responded to the current presidential elections in the NKR, which it called a "provocation" and "contradicting the efforts of Azerbaijan (!!! - author) and the international community aimed at the conflict settlement".
To be frank, it is enviable consistency. With the same stubborn persistence, the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan multiplies the number of "inhabitants" of its infamous "black list", which includes persons who arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh... behind the back of Baku. This time too, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry decided to include in this list all the international observers (and they are, by the way, 81) who arrived in the NKR to observe the presidential elections. Obvious fear is hidden behind this very nervous and at the same time comical reaction. It is fear of the truth about the real life in Nagorno-Karabakh, which foreign guests make public for the international community. While Azerbaijan makes great efforts to toughen the information blockade of the NKR and to disseminate dirty lie about it, Nagorno-Karabakh attracts the attention of increasing numbers of people from different countries who want to know the real truth about the country and its people. And the truth is that the NKR has once and for all taken a firm way of independent and democratic development, which was once again confirmed by the July 19 nationwide presidential elections.
Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper
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