Democratic Elections can be Held in Azerbaijan, Opposition Leader Believes
Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 May / Trend corr. E.Babayev / Etibar Mammadov, Leader of the Azerbaijani opposition National Independent party (ANIP), stated that holding of the democratic elections would not be depend on the amendments and supplements into the Election Code of Azerbaijan. "The elections solely depend on how the Bills are being implemented," Mammadov stated to Trend on 21 May.
The draft to make certain amendments and supplements into the Code will be discussed in the Azerbaijani Parliament. The draft includes ban on agitation campaign of candidates in media, the deposit account of candidates has been increased from AZN 33,000 to AZN 300,000 and term to collect signatures is decreased from 35 days to 10 days. These changes have caused dissatisfaction amongst the opposition parties that could lead to boycott of elections.
Mazahir Panahov, Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), stated to journalists that the candidates, who will not be able to collect 45,000 signatures out of 5mln electorates in Azerbaijan, cannot nominate their candidature for the presidential post. Under the amendments into the Code, the candidates who want to pass registration in CEC must collect at least 45,000 signatures within10 days.
Mamadov considers the spirit of candidates is the key demand of the elections. If there will be a will, the elections can be held in the democratic conditions within the framework of current amendments into the Code.
ANIP was the first party to receive registration in Azerbaijan in 1992. Etibar Mammadov had been the founder and chairman of the party until 2004. At Present, Mammadov is the deputy chairman of the International Democratic Alliance.
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