Tuesday, March 17 2020 20:50
Ani Mshetsyan

Vitaly Balasanyan: At the moment there is no reason to postpone the  elections in Artsakh

Vitaly Balasanyan: At the moment there is no reason to postpone the  elections in Artsakh

ArmInfo. In an interview with ArmInfo, NKR presidential candidate, Artsakh hero Vitaly Balasanyan spoke about his attitude to the coronavirus, the political situation  in connection with the spread of the virus, election campaigning and  other issues.

Mr. Balasanyan, we had planned to discuss your political program as a  candidate for the NKR presidency, however, the situation has changed  dramatically as the state of emergency has been declared in Armenia  due to the coronavirus pandemic. How do you assess the situation?

Yes, the situation is complicated. There is no right time for  political campaign now, it is important to unite people in the face  of a new challenge. I understand that our fellow citizens are tired  of constant mobilization. The military threat, the threat of creating  co-residence with Azerbaijan - all this makes people live in a  constant state of anxiety. I fear that the next threat, a new type of  threat will not be taken seriously.  The leadership of the Republic  needs to be extremely convincing and persistent in informing citizens  about the impending virus, strictly monitor compliance with the  preventive and isolation regime so as not to repeat the experience of  Armenia.

In your opinion, will the incumbent government overcome the  situation?

For now it's difficult to give final opinion, but I would act much  more actively. Yes, Artsakh is a young country, and we face this for  the first time. But let's be objective if the virus has already  entered the country, no one can overcome it, neither Italy, nor  Spain, nor Armenia. But what I see now in Artsakh is negligence and  criminal inaction of the authorities. Preventive measures to ensure  public safety, dissemination of WHO recommendations and many other  measures, needed today, are not taken or are chaotic. Now we need a  strategy to overcome the impending crisis, rather than small tactical  steps.

How do your political opponents react to change of the situation? May  the election date be postponed? 

So far, fortunately, there is no reason to postpone the election, but  everything may happen. And we, the whole society, will agree with  this: because no political ambition can dominate national security  issues. As far as I know, all participants in the political race have  changed the format of campaigning events in accordance with the  recommendations of the election commission. Mass events in enclosed  spaces are not held.

What do you plan to do in terms of economic development, in case you  win? 

A developed economy and a high quality of life are what I want for my  people. But without ensuring security, nothing can be developed. How  other candidates consider it possible- is a mystery to me. Artsakh is  in such a situation that every wrong step can cost us the country.  Security is important not only for the economy, but for everything  else. Speaking specifically about the economy: I have in my team  foreign experts on advanced technologies for developing the economies  of small countries who claim that Artsakh's potential is enough to  make an economic miracle. You need to start with an audit and  inventory, and then everything is as usual - a plan for the  directions, responsible officials, deadlines. But the main condition  for starting this work is a guarantee of security. For this to begin,  a country must have a strong, principled and independent leader.  

Thank you for the interesting conversation, Mr. Balasanyan.  

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