Participation of the Institute of CIS countries in the conduct of a referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

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Participation of the Institute of CIS countries in the conduct of a referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 28.02.2017 15:37

February 20, 2017 in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) a referendum on the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh was held. On the basis of this referendum it was planned to change the form of government of the republic from semi presidential to presidential, unlike the Republic of Armenia, where now a transition to a parliamentary form of government is taking place.

The main reason for this decision in the NKR became the tragic events of last April, when the republic was subjected to large-scale military attack from Azerbaijan. In particular, according to Art. 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh project instead of the Prime Minister he post of Minister of State is being introduced which the NKR President appoints and dismisses from office (art. 93).

The referendum on the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh was preceded by considerable preparatory work. So, February 22, 2016, five political parties represented in the NKR National Assembly, and three non-parliamentary political parties appealed to the President of the Republic with a proposal to initiate a process of constitutional reform and for this purpose to create a special commission.

Already on March 21 this commission was set up, but its work has been significantly slowed by the tragic events of April 2016. As a consequence, only on July 30, following discussions at the public level, the concept of constitutional reforms was presented to the President of NKR, and on August 16 - it was published in the media.

The final draft of the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh was presented on December 15 at the National Assembly. January 17, 2017 it was approved by the national parliament, and on January 19 a decree of the NKR President was signed.

As international observers at the referendum on the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh 104 representatives from more than 30 countries were presented. Including the referendum a group of European Parliament deputies has come, representatives of Russia, Bulgaria, Bolivia, and Germany, South Ossetia parliaments, Abkhazia, Pridnestrovje and many other states.

The Russian delegation included two representatives of the CIS Institute Deputy Director Vladimir Evseev and head of the Caucasus department Dmitry Medoev.

According to preliminary data for the adoption of the new Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh voted 87.6% (more than 69,000). The NKR citizens, and 9.7% (about 8,000) - spoke "against". In this case, as usual, the highest turnout was achieved: 76.4%.

In general, the referendum confirmed that NKR statehood took place.

During the referendum, the Institute of CIS countries delegation visited Mardakert and a number of NKR regions significantly affected during the April fighting. Particular attention was given to the refugees from the village of Talish, for which a temporary accommodation was organized in Alashan and other settlements of the republic.

According to the results of the referendum the Russian delegation was met by the NKR President Bako Saaakyan and Speaker of the NKR National Assembly Ashot Ghulyan.

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