Saeima deputy defends himself against 'fake election observer' listing

Armands Krauze, a member of the Latvian Saeima with the Greens and Farmers Union political bloc responded to his listing in an international database of allegedly biased election observers July 6 insisting his inclusion was not justified.

As previously reported  by LSM, Krauze -- deputy chairman of the parliamentary group for cooperation with Azerbaijan -- was named as a "politically biased election observer" in a database created by the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) following a trip he made to Azerbaijan in February 2020 to act as an election observer in a private capacity when parliamentary elections took place.

"Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were held in accordance with high democratic standards," he said in a Baku press conference at the time according to Azerbaijani media.

Krauze confirmed that the comments were an accurate reflection of his sentiments, telling LSM: 

"Firstly, all the polling stations I visited were accessible in just the same way as in other democratic European countries.

"Secondly, all candidates on party lists could nominate their own observers, to ensure there would be no irregularities during the election and it would be conducted fairly."

"If I had noticed violations, then I would have reported them, but it seems the creators of the [Fake Observers] database would rather I had lied to the public than said what I actually observed."

Krauze also pointed out that other independent observers attended the elections from other European countries including Great Britain, Lithuania and Poland, many of whom are also listed on the Fake Observers database

He also offered strong words of support for Azerbaijan in a wider sense.

"Azerbaijan is a country that includes territories occupied by Armenia. In Armenia there are Russian army bases and soldiers, while in Azerbaijan there are no Russian soldiers. Unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan does not defend Russia's interests," Krauze said, adding that Azerbaijan is helping the European Union with its energy independence by implementing gas pipeline projects that reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Consequently, Krauze said he objected to the inclusion of his name on the Fake Observers website (and in the LSM story) alongside the four other Latvian politicians who have clearly pro-Russian agendas.

"They defend Russia's position, but on the contrary, I am in favor of countries fighting Russian propaganda," Krauze declared. .

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Politics
Politics