Today, political issues have mixed with survival issues. The situation with coronavirus clearly shows our unpreparedness to face this danger. Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) presidential candidate Vitali Balasanyan stated this on his Facebook page.
"At this moment, when we are faced with a serious threat to the health of the people, the authorities of Artsakh are choosing, however, the way not to impose a state of emergency," he added, in particular. “Political interests are being placed above universal interests.
Back on Sunday, I addressed the President of the Republic of Artsakh with a statement on the seriousness of the threat of the spread of coronavirus, and provided a detailed analysis, and presented why it is particularly dangerous especially for Artsakh; I have noted that 18% of our population is in a high risk zone.
Since Tuesday, we have completely stopped mass meetings with voters; yesterday I called on the authorities to establish a state of emergency in Artsakh as it is in Armenia. Many countries around the world have found themselves in such situations. (…). Let me remind that Armenia postponed the referendum to amend the constitution. But we are actually told [by Artsakh authorities], 'No, we will go in another way—we will hold the [presidential and parliamentary] elections [on March 31].'
I ask the authorities and candidates who insist on the need for holding the elections: How will you ensure voter safety at polling stations on Election Day? Who will personally assume this responsibility?
I am ready to continue the election campaign without mass meetings with voters; I am confident in my victory. But when the whole world talks about a risk like war and the Great Depression, I can't allow myself to remain indifferent; I can't keep silent.
I reiterate my position: the sooner we declare a state of emergency [in Artsakh], the more lives we will save. To all who hear me, I urge you to voluntarily keep the quarantine regime. Our lives are in our hands. May God protect us."