Azerbaijani Opposition Bloc Calls on Opposition to Re-consider Their Decision to Attend Elections

Azerbaijan, Baku, 3 June /corr. Trend E.Babayev / Azerbaijani opposition Azadlyg bloc calls on all opposition parties to again reconsider their decision to participate in the elections. "We call on them not to attend the regression of democracy in the country after making annexes and amendments to the Electoral Code," co-founder of Azadlyg, Chairman of Citizen and Development Party, Ali Aliyev, told Trend after bloc's meeting on 3 June.

On 2 June Azerbaijan Parliament adopted annexes and amendments to the Electoral Code. The project canceled the system of registration of the presidential candidates by depositing cash. The number of electorate signatures, which the candidates have to present to the Central Election Commission for registration, has been reduced from 45,000 to 40,000. In addition, the term of election campaign was decreased from 120 days to 75 days. Further, the project imposed a ban to allocate ether time for the candidates on State televisions.

Opposition was dissatisfied with the annexes and amendments.

The presidential elections in Azerbaijan will take place on 15 October.

The chairman of the Musavat party Isa Gambar, chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu, chairman of the Greens Party Mais Gulaliyev and chairman of the public forum For Azerbaijan Eldar Namazov have decided to participate in the presidential elections. Several days ago, political scientist Eldar Namazov stated that he would run for presidency independently. At its meeting, to take place in near future, ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) will nominate country's current President Ilam Aliyev. Azadlyg bloc intends to boycott elections.

According to Aliyev, the meeting focused on the Electoral Code and the participants once again highlighted the practice of boycotting. "We consider that Musavat and Azerbaijan Democratic parties' participation in the elections will give an opportunity to the Government to attach democratic mask to the elections," he said. According to Aliyev, after adopting annexes and amendments, the real opposition forces have to re-consider their decision. Because the hopes of the opposition to make changes to the electoral legislation did not only justified themselves, but also articles were made to the project restricting opportunities of opposition.

Head of Musavat's Central Executive Apparat, Arif Hajili, told Trend that an issue was raised whether to participate in the elections. Closing decision will be made after these discussions.

Chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Sardar Jalaloglu, told Trend on 3 June that yet there are not plans to re-consider party's plan to participate in the elections.

Azadlyg bloc includes three opposition parties - Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Azerbaijan Liberal Party, Azerbaijan Civil and Development Party.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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