Observers with suspicious mission

Observers with suspicious mission

Numerous representatives of organizations, implementing observation mission, have arrived in Armenia to monitor upcoming parliamentary elections on April 2. It’s supposed that especially international organizations, full member of which is Armenia, should have sent people, presence of whose wouldn’t cause issues. Most part of people sent to Armenia as observers are decent persons, who came to implement their real mission.

Unfortunately there are such, who with years, slightly said have been distinguished with principality, loyalty and didn’t’ serve real purposes of their organizations. In this publication we have reflected to a few persons referring to that category, introducing some episodes from their “dark” past. Thus, it wasn’t long ago, when one of Italian authoritative investigative news agencies—RAI, issued a report on caviar diplomacy, in particular, Italian MP Luca Volontè’s pro-Azerbaijani activity and bribery.  The latter was accused of taking a bribe amounting 2.4 million euros from Azerbaijan in the period of 2012-2013 and a criminal case has been launched in February 2016 by Milan’s Police and Prosecutor General’s Office.

In the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled on April 2 OSCE PA and PACE MPs, where a few pro-Azerbaijani figures are involved as well, who may become potential objects for RAI TV investigations.

Thierry Mariani, Michel Voisin, Sergio Divina, Stefan Schennach: these are people with the fame of figures, financed by Azerbaijan and should monitor elections in Armenia. What opinion should these people express about our elections, who qualified elections in Azerbaijan with most positive attributes, which don’t comply with any international standard and regarding them as “transparent, just and democratic”? Now let’s cover them one by one.

Thierry Mariani is an MP in French parliament, former Minister of Transport of France. Participating in Constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan, held in 2016 as an observer, he said, “Without observation we know that everything is good.” Like in many issues, in NK issue Mariani has a stressed pro-Azerbaijani posture. In his article published in French La Revue du Trombinoscope in 2014 and in an interview with pro-Azerbaijani “Vestnik Kavkaza” in 2016 he said, “First steps should be taken by Armenia, which has occupied 20% of Azerbaijan’s territories, i.e. Nagorno Karabakh and seven neighboring regions.” By all possible means Thierry Mariani expressed against the PACE report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, particularly stating that Azerbaijan is a target and through the report an attempt is made to degrade the country.

Michel Voisin is a French MP, head of France-Azerbaijan friendship group. Heading OSCE observation mission in 2013 Azerbaijani presidential elections Voisin qualified the elections as free, transparent and fair. He stated that Ilham Aliyev has undoubtedly and only legally won in the elections. He monitored 4 elections in Azerbaijan and stressed that obvious improvement and compliance to PA and OSCE standards is observed.

Sergio Divina is head of the Italy-Azerbaijan parliamentary friendship group, former president of Italian parliament, MP. At OSCE PA sessions he always voted in favor of pro-Azerbaijani formulas and appeared with protection of Azerbaijani approaches. He was special coordinator of OSCE PA at 2013 presidential elections in Azerbaijan. Upon his assessment Ilham Aliyev has recorded a convincing victory and the country is developing in a correct democratic direction, which totally contradicts ODIHR monitors’ report. He took part as an observer in September 2016 Constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan. The message of Azerbaijani “Azertac” agency is cited as follows, where Divina particularly said, “Voting process in the polling stations is organized on a high level: I can say voting in Azerbaijan is more precise, than in Italy. Formerly I monitored the elections in Azerbaijan as well. Voting here complies with European standards, and in some cases even exceeds them.”

Stefan Schennach is an Austrian MP. He was the rapporteur on Azerbaijan at the PACE Monitoring Committee on Constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan. In all his reports he glorified the authoritarian regime of the country introducing it under a positive cover.

There is no doubt that all represented persons closely cooperate with Azerbaijani political leadership and receive generous compensations for their service. It isn’t only clear why these personages have been sent to Armenia. It’s ridiculous, but it’s a fact, that through these people’s eyes Azerbaijan will follow the upcoming elections in Armenia and will attempt to participate in formation of conclusion on them.

By Artur Vardanyan