Azerbaijan, Baku, 25 April / Тrend News corr J. Babayeva/ "Reduction of the election campaign period in Azerbaijan may be considered as a positive step towards the democratic development," Elnur Aslanov, head of Department on Political Analysis and Information Supply at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, stated.
"The position of opposition parties in this regards causes regret," Aslanov said to Trend on 25 April News.
On the threshold of the presidential elections, which will take place in Azerbaijan on 15 October, the governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) has suggested certain changes in the Election Code - to reduce election campaign period from 4 to 2 months.
Opposition parties, except Great Establishment Party (GEP), do not support the initiative. Fazil Gazanfaroglu, GEP chairman, said that each party and every political leader had enough time during the last five years to prove themselves, gain prestige and support among the population. If they have failed to achieve this in 5 years, 2 or 4 months of the election campaign will change nothing.
Opposition Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) believes that by this action the authorities are trying to restrict the opportunities of opposition. Azadlig bloc uniting three opposition parties also believes that the authorities are trying to prevent opposition from participation in the elections.
Aslanov stated that opposition has very less time. "Party leaders, who can not get the necessary resources for support from the public for years, will not be able to attain such support even if the election campaign is extended for six months," Head of the Executive Presidential Administration in Azerbaijan, stated.
Aslanov said that on this stage the Presidential Administration does not have any concrete position regarding the decrease in pre-election campaign. "We should follow the practice of developed democracies," he said.
The election campaign in Spain is carried out for 15 days only and in Finland - 30 days. The pre-election campaign in Britain, Poland, Italy, Germany, Czech and Hungary is allowed for two months, but the same is allowed for only 25 days in France and Russia. The aforesaid countries have wide geographical territories and more population than Azerbaijan.
The ruling party denies the accusations of opposition. "This proposal was made to upgrade the election process rather than to limit the possibilities of the opposition." Bahar Muradova, Deputy executive Secretary of NAP and Vice Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament, stated. According to Muradova, NAP's proposal is based on the election experience of Azerbaijan and other countries.
In May, it is expected that the proposal for decrease of the election campaign period will be submitted to the Parliament for consideration.
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