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NKR Deputy: On the Day of Independence Referendum Heavy Artillery was Shelling the People (EXCLUSIVE)


On the occassion of  the 25th anniversary of NKR independence referendum "Armedia" IAA presents an exclusive interview with NKR National Assembly Deputy, Vardges Baghryan. 



-Mr. Baghryan, you, as a journalist, who covered the referendum of NKR independence on December 10, 1991, can you tell us in what circumstances it was held?

- I was really honored to cover the referendum of NKR independence on December 10, 1991. Fortunately, the edited video is preserved and seeing these shots we can see that there was a war in Artsakh, and not only on the borders or border villages, but also in the capital Stepanakert. On December 10, when the civilians came to perform their civic duty, heavy artillery was shelling the city, building were being destroyed. Moreover, when I was conducting an interview with a member of the Supreme Council Smirnov shotd were heard near the theater from the suburbs Kyrkzhan were. These shots are recorded in the report and about them was speaking Smirnov. The indipendence of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was proclaimed on September 2, the independence referendum was the next step.

- On December 10, 2006 the people of Artsakh in the referendum adopted the country's Constitution. What is its importance in the life of Artsakh?

-10 years ago, the Constitution of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was adopted. This was necessary. Before, we were guided by different laws, but the adoption of the Constitution was necessary. And we accepted the Constitution in a relatively peaceful environment. In both cases, the participation was very high, and people knew what they are voting for. By the way, December 10 is Human Rights Day, and this day was chosen not by chance, as then (1991) perhaps nowhere human rights were being violated more, then in Artsakh.

- Today the issue of constitutional changes are being discussed in Artsakh. What does it mean to Artsakh?

- There were two opinions- parliamentary or presidential form of government? In the end, the political forces, not all of course (there are still differences), but for the most part, came to the conclusion that the presidential form of government is right. This, incidentally, also coincides with my opinion, which I have always expressed. I believe that the parliamentary form of government is not for us. We need a strong hand, a centralized authority.

It does not mean establishment of dictatorship. We had a parliamentary form of government, where Azerbaijan launched full-scale war. However, in many cases, during the war, the same 90 years, it was not even possible to convene a session as a considerable part of the deputies were at the front. In August 1992, the State Defense Committee was established that the power was in the hands of one person. Today the situation is certainly not the same as in 1990s, but it is possible that it could happen again, because the enemy is constantly threatening to take Karabakh by force.

This means that we must always be ready for war. That is why I believe that the presidential form of government is right. But the final word will tell the people in a referendum.


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