The World Discourages Democracy in Nagorno Kharabakh

Echannel reports figures presented by the deputy chairman of NKR CEC, according to which 53.08%, or 48,494 of 91,180 voters had already cast their ballots by 14:00 in the Presidential Elections in Nagorno-Karabakh, thus making the 4th Presidential elections held in the self-determined Republic a fact of life.
There are mixed reactions to these elections in Armenia, from total indifference to singing praises or speaking the usual opposition talk about how bad the pre-election campaign was and how it is all being rigged, etc. A wide diversity of opinion and comments about the elections can be found in the Armenian blogosphere as well – an interesting review of the mainly English language Armenian blogosphere has already been posted on Globalvoicesonline.
Not going into further discussion about the quality of elections held in NKR I can say that the general perception so far is, that they are at least better then those held in Armenia or Azerbaijan – the two neighboring countries. However, even before the elections are completed, various countries and international organizations have already declared, that they do not recognize the elections.
PanARMENIAN.Net reports about the negative reactions by NATO and US, A1plus on its turn reports NKR’s incumbent president Arkadi Ghukasyan’s response to discouraging calls from the International Community:

“If the international community does not recognize the electoral processes in our Republic, let them offer their alternative variant or Ghukasyan should proclaim himself Turkmenbashi and rule the country for a half century”, said Mr Ghukasyan, underlining that the NKR conducted the election for the nation not for the international community.

The same points are made in this podcast(am) taken from RFE/RL – and I can only express my surprise at such negative response, especially from US, or from an organization like NATO.
There are people living in the territory called Nagorno-Karabakh, and even if the world doesn’t recognize it as a state, there has to be some kind of authority over those people. Isn’t it better, when this authority is elected democratically? Why would the champions of democracy in the world: US and NATO be so negative about democracy? The stakes are too high, so we leave the sweet words about freedom and support our interests only, right? Isn’t that what their negative announcements have just demonstrated? And isn’t this hypocrisy in the words and actions of the US foreign policy, that turns even the good friends into enemies across the world?

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Well, it’s particularly worrying because if they don’t respect that then one has to wonder if they truly are sincere about letting the people of Nagorno Karabakh determine their own fate in a referendum in any later peace deal. Actually, with increasing mention of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan coming from Europe and the U.S., I don’t think such an attitude towards the election gives us much ground for hope.
    Instead, I would have though that in the interest of peace, the international community would instead say to Azerbaijan, “Look guys, these people can hold better elections than you, they don’t want to be part of your country, so face up to facts. Karabakh is gone, so let it continue to control its own destiny, get most of your land around the territory back, and move on. Please, for all our sakes.”
    Unfortunately, however, they don’t appear to be doing anything even remotely similar, and that is very worrying indeed.

  2. Still, when I see quotes like this, I think that as long as the election goes as smoothly as they usually do, the points are scored by Nagorno Karabakh and not anyone who is then seen to be against the idea of democratization in the post-Soviet world.

    Ghukasian and the presidential candidates were unanimous in dismissing international criticism of the election. “The elections are held not for the international community but the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.

  3. […] independence in the early 1990s. In the blogosphere, it is western criticism of the election that concerns Observer more. Not going into further discussion about the quality of elections held in NKR I can say that the […]

  4. Bako Sahakyan is the 3-rd president of Nagorno Karabagh… It seems he’s gonna be the 4-th president of Armenia!

  5. Now there’s a dimension to all of this I never thought of. Well, I can only hope by the time Serzh finishes his two terms in office that there will finally be some kind of real democracy in Armenia, but maybe I’m hoping too much.

  6. Did ROBERT KOCHARYAN vote in the election ?

  7. haha! good question! 🙂

  8. I checked it: neither Robert Kocharian, nor Serge Sargsyan have voted in the NKR elections – it turns out they have no right to vote, because they are not NKR citizens. On that – I wonder what the dual citizenship possibility will mean for those two – will they go for NKR citizenship along with their Armenian ones, or no?

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