Vartan Oskanian, Armenia's ex-foreign minister and an MP of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), has congratulated the Artsakh people on the July 19 presidential elections.
On his Facebook page, Mr. Oskanian congratulated incumbent President Bako Sahakyan on re-election and his contender Vitaly Balasanyan on the weighty vote of confidence.
"Despite the existing drawbacks, two positive shifts were observed in these elections. First, during the election campaign people had an alternative candidate who unveiled the shortcomings of the acting authorities, proposed an alternative election platform which was approved by a significant part of the public. The people of Artsakh were able to break the stereotype that by the discussion of the problem we grist to the mill of the enemy (the stereotype exists in Armenia as well).
Second, though Vitaly Balasanyan announced that ‘the elections were free but not fair,' he was pleased with the number of votes cast in his favour and expressed intention to form a new political structure.
Serious opposition in Artsakh can contribute to the development of statehood and international recognition of Artsakh. It's time for the people in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh to realize that democratic progress consolidates security more effectively than human rights violations under the threat of renewed war.