Ali Hassanov, the head of the Public and Political Department of the PresidentвЂ™s Apparat, gave an interview to Trend in connection with the relationships among the political forces on the eve of the parliamentary elections and 130th anniversary of the national press.
Question: Could the authorities and the opposition hold dialogue to establish constructive relationships between the political forces and democratization of elections environment in the eve of parliamentary elections?
Answer: At present the political forces are involved in the electioneering. To my mind, on the eve of the parliamentary elections the dialogue should be held among political parties, as the political parties, their representatives and supporters participate in the elections. The elections are a competition for political parties, each of which strives to take more and more seats in the parliament. The authorities are interested in the establishment of normal and constructive relationships among all institutes of the society through the maintenance of political activity.
Question: Could the PresidentвЂ™s Apparat be attracted to authorities-opposition meetings as organizer, or participant?
Answer: Of course, in case of necessity representatives of the PresidentвЂ™s Executive Power can take an active part in the meetings. But no event of the kind is expected for the time being. If there appears such a necessity on the eve of the presidential elections, it is possible.
Question: The Council of Europe rapporteurs noted that as minimum Вј part of the parliament should be comprised of opposition. Then could the government face with a problem of recognition of the elections as transparent unless the opposition is not represented in the parliament?
Answer: We are not going to form the parliament on appointment. We are also not going to go across the will of the nation. The composition of the parliament will depend on the choice of the nation and the votes the political parties will collect.
As to opinion of the international organizations, the essential point is not the recognition of the elections as transparent or vice versa. The key criterion is free, democratic and fair demonstration of the will of the nation. For us the important is the votes of the people. We will respect and cooperate with those whom they elect.
Question: Could you tell us about the course of preparations for the events to be organized by the Executive Power on the occasion of 130th anniversary of the national press?
Answer: We have completed the conduct of events held in the regions. Attending the events were members of the Council of Press and representatives of the PresidentвЂ™s Apparat. A final ceremony will be held in the Gulustan Palace of Baku on 21 July with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev. The journalists with definite services in the upgrade of the national press will be awarded. The President will make remarks.
Question: How many journalists will be awarded?
Answer: We still receive proposals on awards. Some journalists will receive presidential awards at the ceremony to be held in Gulustan and their names will be publicized the same day. Too many journalists have been nominated for вЂ�ProgressвЂ™ medal and other decorations. However, only the journalists with probation period of 10 to 50 years will be awarded. The description of their journalist activities were taken into consideration while including them into the list.
Question: Does the initiative on distribution of flats among needy journalists seem real?
Answer: No. The presentation of flats to journalists was not included in the agenda. The government does not have a dwelling fund and it does not build bloc of flats. If such a Fund is established in future, the bloc of flats will be built. The journalist organizations carry out talks with the Baku Executive Power on the construction of bloc of flats for journalists. I do not have any information in this connection.