Azerbaijan, Venice Commission Fail to Agree on Formation of Election Committees

Politics Materials 15 March 2008 15:13 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 March / Trend corr K. Ramazanova/ The Government of Azerbaijan and the Venice Commission (VE) failed to agree on formation of election committees in Azerbaijan, Latif Huseynov, a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to VE and the head of the State Structure Legislation Department at the Azerbaijani Parliamentary Administration, told Trend in a telephone conversation from Venice on 15 March.

"We are ready to continue the dialogue with the Venice Commission on formation of the election committees, but Europe does not have one single standard in this connection," he said.

On 14-15 March, on the threshold of the presidential elections to take place in Azerbaijan in 2008, the Venice Commission and Azerbaijan discussed making changes and supplements in the Election Code.

According to Huseynov, Azerbaijan is ready to discuss the Venice Commission's suggestions with the opposition which urges to form the election committees on the parity basis.

Huseynov said that all suggestions of the opposition and authorities which were discussed with the Venice Commission during the round table in Baku were included into the project on changes and supplements to the Election Code to be submitted to the Azerbaijani Parliament.

The round table, with participation of representatives of Venice Commission, OSCE and Azerbaijani State including, and for the first time, representatives of Azerbaijani political parties, was held in Baku at the beginning of November. The topic of the meeting was the disputed decisions by election bodies, the composition of election commissions and problems connected with registration of candidates.

According to Huseynov, the Venice Commission's position includes continuing the dialogue.

Under the current Election Code, appeals are considered by high-ranking election commissions and courts. The Venice Commission representatives propose to short the appeals consideration term.

The work over the Code was planned to be completed by autumn. However, the process was delayed due to positions of opposition parties concerning the formation of the composition of election commissions. The Azadlig bloc, who unites three opposition parties, submitted to Venice Commission a set of proposals on amendments and supplements into the Election Code in June. The proposals reflected the formation of the composition of the election commissions on the parity basis.

The Venice Commission, OSCE and Azerbaijan agreed to introduce changes into the Code concerning the Article on fingerprints during the election process within the framework of the joint work. The sides agreed not to use envelopes during voting.