International Observers Hold Post-Referendum Press Conference in Separatist Karabakh

Representatives of international monitoring delegations spoke after the recent, unrecognized referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh – Azerbaijan’s separatist region currently under Armenian occupation, reported the Caucasian Knot.

Representatives of international monitoring delegations held a press conference after the February 20 unrecognized referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh, reported

the Caucasian Knot


Monitors reported that no violations were recorded during the voting process.

87.6% of voters cast ballots in favor of the new draft of the republic’s constitution, further reported the unrecognized republic’s Central Election Commission.

Earlier, the Central Election Commission reported that the referendum would be overseen by 207 monitors, including 104 foreign observers from more than 30 countries.

Frank Engel, who lead one of the monitoring delegations – and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – stated that during the course of the referendum the group’s representatives visited “a large number of polling sites”.

“We did not note any violations, everything was in compliance with voting procedures. We can only add that we immediately noted the active participation of the population, their familiarity [with the topic of the referendum] and their desire to vote”, said Engel, noting that the preliminary results of the voting “do not leave room to doubt that the referendum was a success”.

Members of the Chamber of Deputies of Bolivia stated at the press conference that they visited more than 10 polling sites on voting day. “The constitutional referendum provides great opportunity for development down the line”, said Alicia Cancin, representative for the Bolivian delegation.

Wolfgang Jung, a member of the Austrian delegation, said at the press conference that this is not the first time he has acted as an observer in a referendum, and in his opinion the referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh “took place on a high level, in accordance with all the principles of democracy”.

The high level of organization of the referendum and the absence of violations was also corroborated at the press conference by observers from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, and representatives of international organizations: the European friends of Armenia and the Armenian National Committee of America.

The new constitution passed by the referendum provides for the creation of a centralized, presidential form of government with broad powers and authority for the executive branch.

Yesterday, the head of the press service for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Hikmet Hajiyev, stated that individuals who visited breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh on the eve of the referendum will be included on Azerbaijan’s list of personae non gratae.

In a statement

published on the OSCE website

, the co-chairs of the OSCE’s Minsk Group noted that they “do not accept the results of the referendum on February 20 as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan’s separatist region currently under Armenian occupation.

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