29 March 2018, 20:37
OSCE Observation Mission criticizes pre-election situation in Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijan presidential election campaign is held in the absence of rivalry and against the backdrop of severe restrictions on the freedom of speech, the report of the Observation Mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has stated.
The report has appeared today on the OSCE's website in the English and Azerbaijani languages.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the presidential election in Azerbaijan was scheduled for October 17, 2018. However, on February 5, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev appointed early elections on April 11, without presenting any reasons for the move.
The opposition criticized the decision to hold early election. The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), "Musavat" and "Umid" Parties refused to participate in the election, while the movements "Republican Alternative" (ReAl) and "Nida" announced they would not recognize the election outcome.
On the eve of the election, the country's political space is clearly dominated by the ruling "Eni Azerbaijan" Party, whose leader is the incumbent president and which has the majority in parliament, the observers have noted in today's report.
The election campaign as a whole is restrained and promises no real competition, the report says. "Many interlocutors of the observation mission noted that they expect no competitive election. A number of opposition parties either refused to take part or call to boycott the election," the authors have stressed.
The report of the OSCE's ODIHR has confirmed the opposition's judgement that there are no fair conditions for the presidential election, Nureddin Mamedli, the head of the Supreme Majlis of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), has stated.
"The report states explicitly that the campaign is conducted under the dominance of the ruling party; and the election commissions are not independent. I think that the evaluation of this pseudo-election has already been made," Mr Mamedli told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent