Opposition bloc in Karabakh sees polls as undemocratic

Arminfo, Yerevan
20 Jun 05

STEPANAKERT

The Dashnaktsutyun and Movement-88 bloc does not think that the
parliamentary elections held in Nagornyy Karabakh [on 19 June] were
free and transparent, the representatives of the bloc, Gegam
Bagdasaryan (Movement-88) and Armen Sarkisyan (the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun), told a news conference
today.

Bagdasaryan and Sarkisyan said the elections were not free and
transparent, an Arminfo special correspondent reports. The point is
that the incumbent authorities used all administrative resources
available to them both before and during the election campaign.

Bagdasaryan and Sarkisyan said they had sent letters to the Nagornyy
Karabakh president, Arkadiy Gukasyan, and the prime minister,
Anushavan Daniyelyan, but the letters remained unanswered.

Members of the bloc said that despite having won the third place under
the proportional representation system, the bloc failed to gain the
upper hand in any of the polling stations under the
first-past-the-post system, which is rather suspicious.

"We regret that the breakthrough observed in the 2004 local government
elections was not continued," members of the bloc said, adding that
the time had come to analyse mistakes.

They also said they would remain faithful to their principles in the
interests of stability in the republic.

Asked by Arminfo about the position on the elections of the Armenian
wing of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun, Armen
Sarkisyan said the Karabakh branch of the party was a decentralized
body. However, he added that its position would not contradict that of
the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun.

"We wanted a fair struggle and did not intend to use party resources,"
Sarkisyan said, adding that the bloc would issue a statement
reflecting all the irregularities registered in the elections.

According to preliminary results of the elections, the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun won only three parliamentary
seats, and all of them under the proportional representation system.