Azerbaijani CEC officially states on so-called elections in occupied territory
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 20 / Trend M. Aliyev /
Azerbaijani Central Elections Committee (CEC) today made an official statement regarding the so-called "parliamentary elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The Armenians are preparing for the next election game in the occupied territories. The Azerbaijani side expresses its protest to the action which is contrary to international law", chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Mazahir Panahov said.
"The international community is aware that the Azerbaijani territory is under occupation. In this regard, there are decisions of international organizations. But for some reason, the decisions of organizations, was formed on the basis of democracy, are not fulfilled. No one doubts that there are concerned people. They have great strength, " Panahov said.
The statement says that according to the Azerbaijani Constitution, no person, social group, organization can assign the authority of the government. Elections and referendums are conducted on the basis of the Constitution and the Electoral Code of the Azerbaijani Republic.
The CEC said that the "observers", who intend to monitor the elections under the fictitious regime, should abandon the expression of contempt for international norms. This action will be regarded as a flagrant violation of Azerbaijan's state sovereignty.
The CEC states that elections and referendums in the occupied territories can be held after Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is restored and people living there return to their place of residence. "The CEC considers the holding of such" elections" illegitimate. They are inconsistent with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. The CEC does not recognize them and calls for the international community to this issue," a statement said.
Separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh will hold the "parliamentary elections" May 23.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry expressed a formal protest in connection with the "elections" in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The holding of such elections is a flagrant violation of relevant provisions of the Azerbaijani Constitution and the norms and principles of international law, as they are conducted without indigenous Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh. Thus they do not have any legal force," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
"The elections conducted in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan can be considered free and fair only if Azerbaijani expelled population returns to the region and participates in the elections on the legal and democratic basis on equal terms with the Armenian population," the document said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.