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Opposition Criticizes Vote In Nagorno-Karabakh

20 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The opposition bloc in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is criticizing the region's 19 June parliamentary elections as unfair, RFE/RL's Armenian and Azerbaijani services reported.

Gegam Bagdasaryan, a representative of the opposition bloc, said on 20 June that the opposition accuses authorities of abusing their administrative resources to influence the outcome of the election.

Early vote results show that the opposition took only three out of the 33 seats in parliament in the voting.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a self-proclaimed republic, but it is not recognized by the international community.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war over the territory in the early 1990's in which an estimated 25,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of Azeris were driven from the territory.

Azerbaijan still claims the territory, which is under Armenian control.

Azerbaijani officials say said any vote in the region will remain illegal until hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis banished from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions are allowed to return.


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