Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr I. Ali-zade / Thirteen Azerbaijani opposition parties and a political bloc agreed to continue discussions over reforming of Azerbaijani election legislation.
The decision was made at the meeting which took place in the headquarters of the Classical Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (CPFPA) on 8 November. The meeting included the Azadliq bloc, the Popular Front Party of Unified Azerbaijan, the Great Establishment Party, the Taraggi party, the CPFPA, the Azad Azerbaijan party, the Azerbaijani National Independence Party, the Unified Azerbaijan party, the Open Society party, the Turkic National party and Turkic Socio-Democratic Party, The Way of Azerbaijan political movement, and the Our Azerbaijan bloc.
"Democratic force has to be unified so that to reform the election legislation and to hold more democratic elections. Therefore, the suggestions of some parties to form election committees only of them are quite strange," the resolution adopted at the meeting says.
A round table dedicated to reforming of the Election Code began in Baku on 7 November. It was organized by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (CE) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES). The round table involved the representatives of Azerbaijani Government, the governing and opposition parties, as well as the representatives of OSCE, CE and IFES. The key issue for discussion is re-formation of election committees.
Opposition Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (DPA), Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), Liberal Party of Azerbaijan (LPA), and Musavat are not in attendance. They avoided participation in protest against expanded format of the event and its being organized by IFES. The parties urge only they four should participate in the discussions and election committees should include only them and the governing party.
There is no confidence the elections will avoid falsification, even if the election committees include those parties, the resolution says. During previous elections PFPA, DPA, LPA and Musavat made deals with the Government, rejected democratic principles for the sake of several mandates, and their representatives in election committees signed forged election protocols, the document says. "This position of several parties intends to divide the opposition in most principal issues on the threshold of elections, to make deals with the Government and to receive grants from the West."