Thoughts on Elections

These days everyone’s attention is set on elections again, but this time on those held in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. The assessments and comments of various countries, international observers and organizations as well as the changes in the implications for NKR are being actively discussed and analyzed. There is much to be spoken about and even debated on this issue. However today I would like to touch upon an issue of no less importance: what are the elections meant for and what do they actually serve?

With the formation of the first city-states and a nation based on citizenship in Ancient Greece, direct elections there reflected and provided for the implementation of the protection of the rights of the people to elect freely those who would pass bills and govern the country on their behalf. If we observe the evolution of democracy throughout history, we will see that it has mainly transferred from the direct one into an indirect or representative that frees the citizen from everyday burden of governing. Elections enable us to elect a representative to the government every few years and the more time we have to change that person/power the more important it becomes to make the right decision.

What I said refers to ideas and ideals rather than to our reality. In real life we have lost the understanding of the importance of elections and view them as a yet another performance, or a way for earning money for some. We elect «the best from among the worst» and with the justification that everything is already predetermined we are guided by «my vote changes nothing» moto. The less demanding the nation is the less responsible the authorities are.

To say that elections in Europe pass in an entirely transparent way or justly, you will probably agree, is funny. However, citizens in Europe have a better feeling of dignity and hence their authorities – more feeling of responsibility. Citizens there elect out of their political beliefs and views, and if the expectations are not met, next time he or she is free to elect another candidate and you would not buy his or her vote for nothing.

At the end I would like to add one thing: to say that elections in NKR are not legal, and even more, reject the fact of their conduction at all is, at least, wrong. There are people who live in that territory, people, who like others, wish to live in a country where rule of law prevails and they have the right to elect their representative. And here the fact of the recognition or non-recognition of that state cannot play any role, as human rights are for everyone regardless of their place of residence.

Anna Karapetyan