Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 January /corr. Trend K.Ramazanova / The next discussions with experts from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe regarding the electoral system of Azerbaijan will take place in the first week of February in Baku, the Commission's representative, Sergey Kuznetsov, reported to Trend by telephone from Strasburg.
Discussions will take place with regards to improvement of the Electoral Code before the 2008 Presidential elections in Azerbaijan. The meeting will again focus on amendments to the election commissions. Work on the Electoral Code was planned to be completed by the autumn, but the issue was delayed due to the position of the opposition parties on the formation of election commissions.
In June the Azadlyg bloc which combines three opposition parties sent a pack of proposals concerning amendments and annexes to Azerbaijan's Electoral Code to the Venice Commission. The proposals reflected the issue of forming a new election commission on a parity basis.
At the beginning of November, a round table took place in Baku with the participation of representatives from the Venice Commission, Government, and for the first time, representatives from Azerbaijani political parties. The meeting covered the composition of election commissions and complaints about decisions regarding the election process.
According to the current Electoral Code of Azerbaijan, complaints are considered by higher election commissions and courts. Representatives of the Venice Commission suggested reducing the complaints consideration period.
The joint work of the Venice Commission, OSCE and the Azerbaijani Government has already made the decision to attach an article to the Electoral Code regarding the marking of fingers during elections. In addition, the sides reached an agreement not to use envelopes during voting.
Talks between the Venice Commission and Government of Azerbaijan with regards to the Electoral Code should be complete by spring.