By Claude Salhani - Trend:
There is something of a spat going on between the government and the opposition in Azerbaijan over the parliamentary elections that were held this past Sunday.
First the opposition claimed the election was not properly conducted and that they (the opposition) would boycott it.
Well, said the government, you can huff and you can puff but you are not going to blow my house down. They didn't actually say that. I did. Cause that's about all one gets from the opposition.
The government said they thought the opposition was unfair in its critique of the proceedings. Critics of the opposition said it was not a boycott, rather than the opposition realizing they could not field the proper candidates decided they would cut their losses and pull out all together. But "boycotting" sends a message whereas simply dropping out sends a loosing message.
And then it appears that government in Baku considers much of the Western media to be hostile and too harsh in its reporting on the country. Well, shiver me timbers, that's what the media does. And that is the price of success. You win, the media haunts and hates you. You lose and you become the underdog.
You can't have a win-win situation in real life.
Some Azerbaijanis are saying that it is untrue that the opposition boycotted the elections. Rather, they say, they knew that they were going to lose so they threw in the towel early in the game and thought they could get better mileage from a "boycott."
Government sources say the election was in fact not boycotted but that that the opposition parties simply threw in the towel, realizing early on that they were just wasting their time, money and human resources. "They understood they can't win the elections and that's why they have given up earlier," said a pro-government voter.
A fact that must not be ignored are the results of surveys conducted by independent foreign sociological studies' centers and that were identical to the preliminary official results of the elections.
Azerbaijan, notes the government, placed no embargo or conditions on election monitoring by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The problem has to do with the number of observers the OSCE wanted to send to Azerbaijan to monitoring the elections. The number put forward was greater than the number they sent to other countries.
Claude Salhani is senior editor at Trend Agency and a political analyst.