104 international observers from 30 countries visited the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh to observe constitutional referendum on February 20. Director of Statewide Database and Election Administration Research Center at Berkeley law Karin Mac Donald is the third time in Artsakh: she already observed two elections. In the interview with Aravot.am she referred to the black list of Azerbaijan (the list of the people who have visited Nagorno-Karabakh): “Anytime there is a country that doesn’t let you enter, or makes you enemy just because you enter another country, that says more about that country than about you. So I’m not really interested in going to Azerbaijan.”
On our remark, that not only Azerbaijan has these tactics, for example, Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin’s case, which was arrested in Belarus and later was extradited to Azerbaijan, Karin Mac Donald said: “It’s not a problem for me, there’s a lot of other places in the world. And honestly, I think it is very silly. I think it is unnecessary. I think I just have to be a little more careful before I visit certain countries, but you know it is OK: the world is a dangerous place.”
According to Karin Mac Donald, it was an honor for her to be invited to observe the referendum and to give an opinion: “I am interested to see whether tomorrow is going to be the same way as the last elections I have seen. However, this is a different process this time: we don’t have candidates on the bullet expect for one region. So my questions are going to be a little bit different. I am interested in finding out what kind of information people got. As an academic this is something that I am interested in, and whether there is a partisan information and how much and how easily it is to understand what the press coverage was. In terms of going to polling places, I expect to see the professional behavior, that I have observed the last two times. It is always really impressive to see how people are participating and how people are running these polls. And you know we also learn from this processes, we go home and tell people how things are functioning here”.