The following is the official statement released by the Artsakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Along with aggravating the situation on the line of contact and making repeated attempts of reconnaissance and sabotage, as well as continuously shooting with large caliber mortars and artillery, Azerbaijani authorities have launched a hysterical campaign against the ongoing democratic processes in the NKR.

On August 31, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the forthcoming September 13 elections to local self-government in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. This statement contains the traditional set of baseless accusations against the NKR and Armenia is actively disseminated in international organizations and structures. In its turn, the state-controlled Azerbaijani media have started a race in their attempts of attaining similar accusations from the representatives of various countries and international organizations.

Condemnation of the municipal elections in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic by Azerbaijan is a manifestation of panic phobia of Azerbaijani leadership towards the democratic processes taking place in the NKR. This is especially evident against the background of the deteriorating situation with human rights and freedom of speech in Azerbaijan, where elections are an open ended process of inheritance, human rights activists and journalists are persecuted for dissent, and the population deprived of the opportunity to fully realize their fundamental rights and freedoms. Bringing to the end any illusion of democracy in its country, the leadership of Azerbaijan does not fall short of attempts to impose its own “standards” of human rights throughout the international community including its neighboring countries.

In this regard, we consider it necessary to note that in line with its commitment to democratic values and principles, the organization of public life and the formation of the NKR authorities are carried out solely by means of free, fair, transparent and competitive elections, which have become an integral part of the political culture of the NKR.

Forthcoming September 13 elections are the sixth elections to the local government in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. The first municipal elections, including the elections of the mayor of Stepanakert, were held on September 27, 1998.

Implementation of the local self-government in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, safeguarding the citizens to participate directly in the conduct of public affairs is regulated by the Constitution of the NKR in full compliance with international law and, particularly, the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

Attaching special importance to the institution of local self-government as a form of direct and representative governance by the people as well as the foundations of any democratic regime, the NKR authorities will spare no efforts to enhance its further development and strengthening.

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