The Elections in Nagorno Karabakh Were Fair and Transparent: US Observers
06.05.2015
10:30
The observers from the USA are impressed with the professionalism and transparency the May 3 parliamentary elections in Nagorno Karabakh (NKR) were held with. The elections were conducted in a fair, transparent, competitive and accurate manner, consistent with the international standards, said the observers of the US monitoring delegation.

According to the local Central Electoral Commission, five out of seven political powers running for seats at the parliament passed the threshold. Over 71 percent of all eligible voters took part in the elections. The Free Motherland Party, headed by NKR Prime Minister garnered 47.5 percent of the vote; the Democratic Party of Artsakh received 19.1 percent, with the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun, Movement 88 and National Rebirth party having 18.81, 6.93 and 5.38 percent respectively.

“The elections were competitive. We are very impressed with the professionalism and dedication to the process that was reflected how the polls operated and the turnout of voters,” said Karin Mac Donald, Director of Election Administration Research Center at UC Berkeley.

The Media Center hosted a press conference on the US experts’ observations on the recent parliamentary elections in Nagorno Karabakh. The speakers included: Karin Mac Donald, Director of Election Administration Research Center at UC Berkeley; Gail L. Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Clerk CA ,USA; and Kristen Abajian,  Human Rights Initiative at UC Davis. The two teams have been to 16 polling stations in six districts in Nagorno Karabakh. The delegation observed the opening and closing of the polls.

Karin Mac Donald recalled her first experience as an observer at the 2012 presidential elections in Karabakh and pointed out the substantial improvement of the election process over last three years. “The authorities in Nagorno Karabakh and the Central Electoral Commission are open to discussions and recommendations. They accept and implement the recommendations by international observers to improve the election process,” said the delegation head.

The elections in Nagorno Karabakh were accurate, secure and transparent, believes Gail L. Pellerin, who has twenty-two years of elections experience. “I witness the elections were consistent with international standards, and similar to how we conduct elections in Santa Cruz County. When I return to California, I will ask my Santa Cruz County Board supervisors to support Nagorno Karabakh’s continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation,” said Pellerin.

Kristen Abajian spoke on the election process in Shushi prison. “From a human rights perspective Karabakh is clearly striving to ensure the full participation of all the citizens in the election process. This commitment demonstrated in our observation in the polling place in Shushi prison.” Kristen Abajian told the journalist that the observers intend to write some technical recommendations that, if implemented, may ensure a higher level of participation from voters of all types of special needs.

The high quality of electoral process may have its impact on the international recognition of Nagorno Karabakh, Gail Pellerin believes. “If more counties in California pass resolutions and, eventually more states pass, supporting the operation of Nagorno Karabakh and the government there we might eventually convince the United States Government to also take the same position,” said Pellerin.

 

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordinator

Please contact the author at arshaluysmghdesyan@pjc.am.

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