The Azerbaijani people must have opportunity of real choice during the parliamentary elections scheduled for 6 November, Paula Dobriansky, the U.S. Under Secretary for Global Affairs, said to a news-conference in Baku on Wednesday, Trend reports.
вЂњHolding opportunity to elect candidates freely, Azerbaijani voters will vote for future development of Azerbaijan,вЂќ Dobriansky underlined. She noted that not just election day, but whole election process is a key signal of AzerbaijanвЂ™s commitment to democratic development.
According to Dobriansky, freedom of assembly, equal access to the media for all candidates, and a transparent and accurate vote count observed by domestic as well as international monitors, including NDI and IRI, are all elements that are crucial for ensuring that the elections will meet international standards.
She stressed that authorities should prosecute more than 100 violations, revealed during the December 2004 municipal elections.
Besides, there must be mechanism to adjudicate complaints concerning election procedures and ensure substantive dialogue to make certain that the process meets the international standards.
All the steps will help to build trust of the Azerbaijani people and the international community that the elections will be free, fair and transparent.
Dobriansky underlined that some of the items were also reflected in the PresidentвЂ™s 11 May 2005 decree.
вЂњU.S. government desires that this decree will be implemented in all levels of the government, as well as in the regions of the countryвЂќ, - she noted. The Under Secretary for Global Affairs also voiced hope that the U.S.-funded exit poll will help to prevent falsification during the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.