11 April 2020, 23:09
Rights defenders criticize NKR election amid coronavirus threat
Given the isolation of three communities, authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) should declare the state of emergency and postpone the second round of presidential election, human rights defenders believe.
There are no decisions regarding the election procedure in the isolated communities, Srbui Arzumanyan, the head of the NKR's Central Election Commission (CEC), has stated.
The situation associated with the election amid the global pandemic is "very strange," said Artak Kirakosyan, the chairman of the Civil Society Institute.
He has expressed his bewilderment that the NKR fails to take the same steps as in Armenia and around the world.
"It's still very far to really democratic elections in the NKR, but amid the pandemic all these issues are moving into the background. You cannot put people before the choice: the performance of one's civil duty can infect the voter; and his relatives can die from it," Mr Kirakosyan believes.
The situation should be considered in the context of the proportionality of violations of two rights: the free will and the life and health, said Artak Beglaryan, a human rights defender.
Anna Tsatryan, a resident of Stepanakert, believes that until the society knows its rights and defends them, it makes no sense to urge the authorities to postpone the election.
Asmik Arushanyan, another NKR resident, has urged residents "not to go to the polls in the name of their own health."
Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent