WASHINGTON—Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ed Royce (R-CA) congratulated the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) on its July 19th presidential elections, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
“We join with Representatives Pallone and Royce in commending the people of Nagorno Karabakh as they exercise their right to choose their own government through democratic elections,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “As we reflect on the Artsakh vote, we are reminded of the words of our own late President John F. Kennedy, who, on the day of his inauguration said: ‘We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom.’”
In a statement issued earlier today, Rep. Pallone noted, “As the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, I wish to extend my congratulations to the Nagorno Karabakh Republic on their exercise of democratic presidential elections. The presidential elections held on July 19, 2012 are another important day in the history of independence and democratic freedom for the people of Artsakh. It is heartening to see their continued dedication to peaceful democracy.
“On September 2, 1991 the Nagorno Karabakh Republic declared the formation of an independent, democratic republic. On December 10, 1991 a referendum on the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic took place and was overwhelmingly approved. I am pleased the Republic continues to hold regular parliamentary and presidential elections that have previously been viewed as free and fair by international observers,” continued Rep. Pallone.
“These elections represent the strength of the democratic process in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and are a testament to the commitment of the people in Artsakh to the Republic’s sovereignty. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus I am committed to promoting the democratic independence of Nagorno Karabakh and will continue to support the rightful exercise of self-determination which contributes to regional stability and development,” concluded Rep. Pallone.
Rep. Royce concurred, noting “I commend the people of Nagorno-Karabakh for holding peaceful and honest elections. Throughout the years we have seen a trend of its electoral system working in proper fashion and the most recent election maintains that precedent. Voting embodies a functioning democracy, I applaud all in Nagorno-Karabakh for putting democracy into action.”
According to NKR Central Election Commission, 73% of voters came out for the fifth presidential elections of the country on Thursday, during which Bako Sahakian was re-elected for a second five-year term. Some 110 international observers converged on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to monitor the vote, including observers from Armenia, former Soviet republics, the EU and the US.
Among the American observers was former Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch who, upon arrival in Artsakh on the eve of the elections, congratulated “the government of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic for their commitment to a transparent and fair election. I look forward to participating in this democratic process.”