EPDE representative: German MPs participation in 'NKR referendum elections harm democratic efforts

Thu 31 August 2017 13:02 GMT | 17:02 Local Time

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German Schweriner Volkszeitung newspaper published an article about the observation of the so-called 'referendum' held on 20.02.2017 in Azerbaijani occupied lands by Landtaq deputies of the utra-right AfD party.

The newspaper issue dated 30.08.2017 published the article titled 'AfD politicians as election observers' and the website of the same newspaper posted the same article under the name 'An illegal visit. Afd creates an image of guards of elections' reports about the illegal visit of AfD members Enrico Komning, Holger Arppe, as well as Thomas Rudy to observe the so-called 'election' in the separatist formation. It has to be noted that Schweriner Volkszeitung is considered a leading press body of Schwerin, the capital of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern federal land, spreading reports about federal land 

The article mentions that the Azerbaijani ambassador has sent a letter to President of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region, Sylvia Bretschneider. It is noted that Landtag president rarely receives letters from ambassadors.

Especially because in the letter he talked about the illegal visit of two Landtag deputies, it look the president's office long to engage with this issue."

It is reported that "Nagorno Karabakh, which the United Nations recognizes as the territory of Azerbaijan, is actually occupied by Armenia." The MPs of the above-mentioned federal land were invited by the "parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" to assess the "internationally observed referendum". The powers of the "unrecognized republic's president" have been put for vote during the referendum.

It is reported that on February 19 all the three politicians stepped into the "country that is officially nonexistent". They traveled by plane to Yerevan and from there they headed to Nagorno-Karabakh. The article notes that an employee of the Embassy of Azerbaijan said, "the trip to Nagorno-Karabakh is illegal because of no permission from Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh is an ​​Azerbaijani territory in line with the international law," he says. The article emphasizes that "along with being a violation of the law, the visit is also dangerous."

The article also refers to participants in an illegal visit. Enrico Komning says that they were 'invited by the Nagorno Karabakh autonomous government", "the decision of the country to be independent is consistent with international law," "the elections are democratic," and "that it is not a crucial matter."

Thomas Rudy mentions that "travel, hotel and other expenses" were met by the opposite side, and the deputies brought "German drinks and Menderenburg sausage" as gifts.

The article also mentions while describing Holger Arppe that he has recently been charged with inciting national hatred and appealed against a court decision.

Stefani Schiffer, a representative for the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), said in the article that the aforementioned politicians 'harm the democratic efforts of the international community.' According to him 'the participation of German parliamentaries in the referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh was aimed at granting it the legitimacy it does not have. The invitation to the elections actually pursued this goal. The article emphasizes that Komning, Arppe, and Rudy were used as a means to attain this goal.

The article can be downloaded from the following link:

https://www.svz.de/regionales/mecklenburg-vorpommern/afd-mimt-wahl-hueterin-id17692096.html

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