ODIHR has no ground to assess Azerbaijani election if not taking part as observer

ODIHR has no ground to assess Azerbaijani election if not taking part as observer

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 13

By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has no ground to voice an opinion on the results of election in Azerbaijan, in case of non-participation in it as an observer, Hikmet Hajiyev, head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend Oct. 13.

He was commenting on a statement earlier made by the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier regarding the upcoming parliamentary election in Azerbaijan.

"Azerbaijan, complying with its commitments as part of OSCE, sent an invitation on July 14, 2015 to the OSCE/ODIHR for its observing the parliamentary election scheduled for Nov. 1, 2015," said Hajiyev.

"Azerbaijan also sent a reasoned response to the ODIHR with regard to that structure's report in connection with the points, with which Azerbaijan didn't agree."

"Thus, ODIHR's sending 400 observers to Azerbaijan, which has a population of 9.5 million and 125 constituencies, isn't logical," Hajiyev further noted.

He added that the ODIHR hasn't yet been able to give a logical explanation to the discrepancy between the number of observers and the number of population and voters.

"Instead, the OSCE/ODIHR leadership unilaterally, without consultations, and flagrantly violating mandate, decided that it won't observe the parliamentary election in Azerbaijan," said Hajiyev.

Hajiyev noted that, under the Helsinki Document, adopted 1992, the OSCE/ODIHR's main role lies in helping the member states in implementing commitments in human rights area.

"According to a decision made by the OSCE Budapest Summit in 1994, the OSCE/ODIHR's is set to carry out the function of an advisor," he said.

Hajiyev went on to quote the Budapest document, which reads that the ODIHR, in consultation with the chairman-in-office, and, acting in an advisory capacity, will take part in discussions of the Permanent Council, and provides information on implemented issues.

"Acting in close consultation with the chairman-in-office, the director of the ODIHR may propose further action," he quoted the Budapest document, adding, "As it can be seen, the OSCE/ODIHR has no authority to make a unilateral decision, without consultation with the chairman-in-office and the corresponding member state."

As a result, said Hajiyev, the ODIHR, being an executive structure, has gone beyond its authority and mandate, and has taken a political decision.

"This once again shows that the ODIHR leadership, being under the influence of certain circles, deliberately politicizes such technical issues as the monitoring of elections," he said further. "Obviously, the aim is to prepare a platform for making unfounded claims against Azerbaijan after the election."

He noted that ODIHR, under the fundamental documents and the OSCE mandate, must hold consultations on this issue with the organization's chairman-in-office and Azerbaijan, presenting constructive proposals to the OSCE Permanent Council.

"Azerbaijan is committed to a dialogue and principles of cooperation with the OSCE," said Hajiyev.

He noted that the invitation to the OSCE/ODIHR to send observers to the parliamentary election in Azerbaijan remains in force.

Earlier, the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, addressing a press conference in Moscow, expressed regret that it wasn't possible to reach an agreement on sending an ODIHR observer mission for Azerbaijani parliamentary election.

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