Samvel Babayan. Screenshot from video posted by ‘Azatatyun’ Radio at:

01 August 2019, 14:48

Samvel Babayan's supporters threaten to protest if refused of holding referendum

More than 21,000 signatures have been gathered in support of the constitutional amendments initiated by Samvel Babayan, the former commander of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army, reports the Central Election Commission (CEC). Supporters of Samvel Babayan say they will launch protest actions if their demand for a referendum is not heard.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 4, the office of Samvel Babayan, the former commander of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army, announced the beginning of the collection of signatures to amend the Constitution, which would allow him to participate in the presidential election in 2020. It was proposed to hold a referendum and repeal the requirements of Article 48 of the Constitution of Nagorno-Karabakh on the mandatory qualification for presidential candidates regarding living in the self-proclaimed republic for 10 years.

On July 31, the initiative group of the Samvel Babayan's supporters submitted to the CEC a package of signatures required for introduction of amendments to the Constitution, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent learned from an officer of the press service for the Nagorno-Karabakh CEC. The package contains 21,049 signatures, and the CEC will verify their authenticity within a month, the press officer notes.

The Samvel Babayan's supporters called on the political forces of Nagorno-Karabakh to seek the resignation of the current authorities if they impede the holding of "free and fair election."

"We will prepare to hold rallies to ensure that the fair demands of residents of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) are heard," declares the statement posted on the Facebook page of the Samvel Babayan's office (as translated by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent).

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 1, 2019 at 01:30 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Alvard Grigoryan; Source: CK correspondent

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