Azerbaijani Ex-Speaker Party Charges Opposition

Azerbaijan, Baku, 26 May / Trend corr. E.Babayev / The Open Society party (OSP) headed by Rasul Guliyev, Ex-Speaker, charges the Azerbaijani opposition of lack of common view point. "Boycott of upcoming presidential elections is not right basing it only on the draft on amendments and supplements into the Election Code. Democratic elections can be held in any election legislation," Akif Shahbazov, Chairman of OSP, stated to Trend .

The draft on amendments and supplements into the Election Code is expected to be passed by the Parliament by May end. The draft on the changes includes ban on the canvassing in the state-owned media sources, and rise in the deposit account of the candidates from AZN33,000 to AZN300,000. The terms for the signature collection has been reduced from 35 days up to 10 days, cancellation of candidate's registration has become more easier as a result of the changes into the Code of Administrative Violations. These changes have caused discontent in the opposition.

The presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be held in October 2008.

Isa Gambar- leader of Musavat party, Sardar Jalaloglu-chairman of Democratic party and Mais Gulmammadov- Chairman of Green party of Azerbaijan, have already nominated their candidature to the presidential post. On 5 May, Eldar Namazov, Head of the Public forum 'For Azerbaijan, stated that he would also nominated his candidature to the presidential post. The candidature of Ilham Aliyev will be nominated from the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party.

Shahbazov stated that OSP does not consider the draft on amendments and supplements into the Election Code significant. "For me, the political will is the key issue to hold the elections. The Azerbaijani opposition is weak that is why it is boycotting the elections. The decision to participate in the elections or not will be made next months," Shahbazov said.

Ali Aliyev, a member of the Azadlig bloc and Chairman of Citizen and Development party, believes it right to boycott the elections in the current situation in the country. The bloc will carry out the necessary work in this direction and call upon population to support it.

The right wing Open Society Party was founded in April 2007. Rasul Guliyev, ex-Speaker of Azerbaijan living in emigration in the United States, is the leader of the party.

The correspondent can be contacted at:[email protected]

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