West has no reason to criticize Azerbaijani election - expert
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 28
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
In the emerging circumstances, the West has no reason to criticize elections in Azerbaijan, Stanislav Pritchin, research assistant of the Center for the Study of Central Asia and Caucasus of the Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow), said in an exclusive interview with Trend Oct. 28.
He said the criticism cannot be unbiased if there is lack of material to assess. Pritchin said it is difficult to understand what factual ground the OSCE bases its criticism on, if the organization doesn't even have a permanent representation in Baku.
"The mere fact that the OSCE/ODIHR is not sending a mission to Azerbaijan is already a significant signal that on one hand the parties couldn't agree, couldn't solve the issue with a permanent OSCE representation in Baku," he said. "On the other hand, the OSCE gets deprived of a serious tool for evaluation of elections."
He added that in the absence of OSCE observers, Azerbaijani authorities have, in any case, a strong stimulus to hold the most fair and transparent election, for a fair assessment by the CIS and other organizations' observers, leaving no reason to say that there were some violations during the election.
Pritchin also noted that Azerbaijan's task is to hold the election fairly, openly and transparently.
Earlier, the OSCE press office issued a statement of the ODIHR Director Michael Link, stating that no mission will be sent to observe the parliamentary election, to be held in Azerbaijan Nov. 1.
After that the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, while addressing a press conference in Moscow, expressed regret that it was not possible to reach an agreement on sending an ODIHR observer mission to Azerbaijan's parliamentary election.