Discussions Concerning Consideration of Appeals on Elections to be Held in Baku
Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. K. Ramazanova / The issues concerning an appeal of decisions in the election process in Azerbaijan and the formation of election commissions will be discussed during a meeting participated by representatives of the Venice Commission, OSCE, and the Azerbaijani Government. For the first time, Azerbaijani political parties will take part in the meeting in Baku on 7 and 9 November, Sergey Kuznetsov, the Venice Commission's representative, said by telephone from Strasburg on 17 October.
"I hope the discussions will be focused on those bodies engaged in the consideration of appeals and problems on the formation of election commissions," Kuznetsov said.
The issue on introducing changes to the Election Code of Azerbaijan has been discussed on the threshold of the upcoming 2008 Presidential Elections. The work in the Election Commission was planned for completion by autumn; however, the process was delayed due to positions taken by political parties on the formation of the composition of election commissions.
Azadlig bloc, which unites three opposition parties, submitted a set of proposals to the Venice Commission in June concerning changes and supplements to the Election Code of Azerbaijan. The proposals dealt with the formation of a new composition of the election commissions on a parity basis.
Other opposition parties commented on their plans to develop and submit new proposals to the government and Venice Commission. The proposals suggest a formation of election commissions on a parity basis from representatives of the Authorities and the opposition. Decisions of election commissions should be passed on 50+1 voting principle.
Most participants in elections insist on inefficiency of the system which considers appeals after each election in Azerbaijan.
According to Safa Mirzoyeva, the head of the Parliamentary Administration, during the Baku meeting, it is planned to reach an agreement on the changes to the Election Code concerning a decrease in the term for considering appeals.
Azerbaijan considers appeals should be considered by a special commission with the participation of lawyers.
"Most problems should be settled as soon as possible during the election process, as elections go on and nobody can re-appoint a candidate," Kuznetsov said.
Azerbaijan, the Venice Commission, and the OSCE have already agreed upon changes to the Election Code concerning the use of finger inking during the election process. Such an innovation was approved by the decree of the Azerbaijani President during the 2005 parliamentary elections.