NKR: Election – Step Towards Democracy

ELECTION – STEP TOWARDS DEMOCRACY

Azat Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh Republic [NKR]
26 June 05

The NKR Union of Journalists had invited observers from Czech,
Croatia and Greece to monitor the parliamentary election. Immediately
after the poll they met with the journalists at 24.00 on June 19th.
In the beginning the representative of the International Association
for Croatia Zoran Pusic thanked the Union of Journalists in the name
of the monitoring delegation for the invitation to take part in the
election. “Our group together with several observers from the Union
of Journalists of NKR visited almost all the areas of the republic
and did not detect any irregularities in any of the polling sites. To
tell the truth, we had wanted to be present for the count, which is
very important for us the observers, but as we have to leave tomorrow
morning, we decided to hold the press conference at midnight. I must
say we were surprised by the activity of common people. Thus they
showed that they struggle for the recognition of Nagorno Karabakh
as an independent state; free and fair elections are a step towards
recognition of NKR,” said Z. Pusic. The member of the group Edward
Sarghissian also referred to the election as a step towards democracy
and a commendable step for NKR as an unrecognized country. As distinct
from his colleagues, Milan Stefanetz pointed out the irregularity
detected by him in Askeran. According to him, the committee ignored
the protest of the “Alliance”. Nevertheless, he said, the most
important thing about the election is that people are conscious of its
importance in their lives. In answer to the question why his opinion
and the opinion of the other members of the group were different,
M. Stefanetz said they had visited different polling sites. In answer
to the question of what the reason for his approach was, M. Stefanetz
said he has considerable experience in monitoring and is aware of the
international standards. Itka Adamchikova said they had not come to
find faults but to monitor the election and to convey their opinions
to the international community. From this viewpoint, according to
her, the foundation of democracy in Karabakh is strong. According to
the Greek observer, they observed the will to defend their right of
voting among the people of Karabakh and advised therefore to foster
democracy in the country. A similar opinion was expressed by Marineh
Sarghissian from Czech. In answer to the question what the principles
of evaluating the polls by a non-official monitoring mission are,
the head of the mission said each of them had monitored similar
elections in different places. The head of the monitoring mission
has personally monitored 6 elections, including in Chechnya, Serbia,
and is well-aware that Nagorno Karabakh is a difficult region and,
nevertheless, manages to solve its problems. The observers once again
thanked the people of Karabakh and wished them peace.

LAURA GRIGORIAN. 26-06-2005

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