By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin living in Nagorno-Karabakh have the right to cast their votes during elections in Azerbaijan.
This was said in a statement issued by Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission (CEC) in connection with the snap parliamentary election to be held on February 9.
As noted in the statement, Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin living in Nagorno-Karabakh have the right to cast their votes during elections in Azerbaijan.
"More than one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs as a result of Armenia's ethnic cleansing policy, which occupies Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions," the statement reads.
As a result of the Armenian occupation, the Armenian community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is a citizen of Azerbaijan, was deprived of other constitutional rights, as well as electoral rights.
"Armenia has repeatedly attempted to set up fake elections in these territories. Since the Constitution and the Election Code are the basis of the conduct of elections in Azerbaijan, these ‘elections’ are illegal and are not recognized by the international community," the statement reads.
As a result of Armenian military aggression, seven out of 125 constituencies in the country are completely occupied and part of the three constituencies are under occupation. In addition, there are also forced relocation localities in the area of the other four constituencies.
Some 523 polling stations have been created to allow Azerbaijani IDPs to exercise their constitutional rights in the upcoming Parliament elections. Like other polling stations operating in the country, these polling stations are fully prepared for the election day.
Despite the fact that the IDPs displacement has made it difficult to organize their voting, great efforts and extensive opportunities have been created to ensure the full voting rights of Azerbaijani citizens.
"Noting that the election rights of Azerbaijani citizens expelled from their native lands as a result of Armenia's aggression in the elections and referendums held in our country have been ensured, and no differences have been made between citizens based on their nationality, Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission declares that Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin in the Nagorno-Karabakh region can enjoy their voting rights free and unencumbered, like other citizens, and are ready to take all steps in accordance with the requirements of the legislation of Azerbaijan," the statement concluded.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied around 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
During the battles, more than 20,000 people were killed, more than 50,000 people were wounded and maimed. Over one million people, victims of the policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijan, live in the situation of refugees and IDPs, are deprived of basic human rights.
Despite the demands expressed in UN Security Council resolutions on the need to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the release of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan without preconditions, Armenia continues to pursue its aggressive policy.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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