ON INTERIM REPORT
of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission regarding the Presidential
Elections in the Republic of Azerbaijan to be held on October 9, 2013
Interim Report No.1
of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission has been recently issued.
The report includes
a lot of opinions on the elections procedures. With respect to this, we would
like to inform you on the followings:
As to the absence
of female candidates among nominees, we want to note that gender equality is
implied by Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Women are
fully represented in the Parliament and both in Azerbaijan Government and court
system. Women have been facilitated to implement their passive voting rights
also in these elections. The fact that women do not use this opportunity noted in the report is
at least inexplicable.By the way, there
are many European countries which have never had female presidents.
As to claims that the recommendations made by OSCE/ODIHR have
not been taken into consideration in amendments following the 2010
parliamentary elections, I would state
that 12 of 17 recommendations given in 2010 (excluding reducing the period for
consideration of complaints) were adopted.
this was forwarded to OSCE/ODIHR Director Janes Lenarcic by the CEC Chairman on
August 12, 2013.
I would inform on
the formulation of election commissions that in the election history of
Azerbaijan, election commissions were formed on the basis of parity
representation of opposition and government parties in the Parliament in 2000
in strict comply with OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. The present opposition
parties has used this parity for boycotting the activity of CEC. CEC members
could not adopt relevant decisions within the periods defined by Law due to the
lack of quorum required by Law thus paralyzing the
work of the Central Election Commission.
Despite the letter of the ODIHR Director then Gerard
Studman to opposition leaders calling them to show a constructive position, the
boycott continued and a danger of violation of terms emerged. The formula of
formation of election commissions was later improved by Milli Majlis.
As for the statement on government control over all
television channels, we would like to remind the election observation mission
that in Azerbaijan there is one state channel, one public channel and 33
private channels (five countrywide, 14 regional and 14 cable channels). We
would like to receive available evidence giving the basis to the conclusion or
laws providing this opportunity".
This position also
refers to characterizing the legislation and its current implementation by the
coordinators of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission as an obstacle for NGOs’
ability to observe the election process.
We would like to note that in the election process,
de-registration cards should be considered effective means to ensure the
suffrage of voters. To this end, the CEC has created broad opportunities for
voters by issuing registration cards in the amount indicated in the report. The
fact that during the release of the report the number of voters receiving the
cards was low should not be accepted as a final indicator. This process
continues until three days are left prior to the elections, and in the end,
unused registration cards are officially cancelled under the observation in
accordance with the legislation.
Misunderstandings causing surprise in the Interim
Report of OSCE/ODIHR create impression of necessity to build the activity
(including observation on the Election Day) of the election observation mission
in this direction more transparently. We think that considering the frequently
voiced public opinions that the observers should post their opinion about the Election
Day on the OSCE website individually right after the elections would be useful
in terms of increasing public confidence in the mission's activity.
Central Election Commission
of the Republic of