Azerbaijani Opposition Does Not Delay Elections Preparation after Changes Introduced into Election Code
Azerbaijan, Baku, 5 June / Trend corr E. Babayev/ Azerbaijani opposition has not delayed preparation for elections after changes were induced in the Election Code. "In spite of the hesitations on whether to participate in the elections, which occurred after the changes and amendments into the Election Code were passed, we are not going to delay preparation for the elections," Arif Hajili, head of Musavat party's executive administration, said to Trend on 4 June.
Azerbaijan will host the presidential elections on 15 October. The Parliament of Azerbaijan has passed the Bill on Supplements and Changes into the Election Code on 2 June. According to the Bill, the presidential candidates are prohibited to conduct election campaign in the state-owned TV channels, radios and newspapers with the term of election campaign being shortened from four months to 75 days. Furthermore, the number of signatures required for the registration of the presidential candidates has been decreased from 45,000 to 40,000.
The oppositional parties, who consider the changes undemocratic, are thinking of boycotting the upcoming elections. Musavat party has already nominated its Chairman Isa Gambar, Azerbaijan Democratic Party - Sardar Jalaloglu and the Greens Party nominated Mais Gulaliyev. The head of the public forum Eldar Namazov stands for presidency as an independent candidate. The governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) will nominate country's current President Ilam Aliyev. Bloc Azadlig uniting three opposition parties (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Citizen and Development Party, Liberal Party) intends to boycott the elections. After changes into the Election Code were passed, those who had decided to participate in the elections have now decided to review their decision once more.
Hajili said that Musavat still intends to participate in the elections. But after the changes, the issue whether to participate will be discussed at the structures of the party. "Preparation for election is being carried out in compliance with the program. Election headquarters of our party is permanently working. So, we are ready for the elections. For the time being we are solving the technical issues. Our key problem is finances. We hope we will be able to create a fund with the assistance of party's countless supporters," Hajili said.
Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) Sardar Jalaloglu said to Trend that his party had not delayed preparation for elections. The central election headquarter of the party was established last week and elections headquarters were created in 60 different regions. "We are fully ready for the elections. I support participation in the election," Jalaloglu said. According to him, in present situation opposition must avoid radical steps. If such steps are taken, anti-democratic situation will aggravate in the country. "We must try to solve the problem via dialogue, not by aggravating the situation. Nonetheless, some forces may make use of its radicalism," Jalaloglu said. He stated that only one group in ADP urges to review its decision to participate in the elections. "I will try to assure them how important it is to participate in the elections," he said.
Eldar Namazov, an independent presidential candidate, said to Trend that the changes in the Election Code would not anyhow affect his preparation for the elections. He said he still backs participation in the elections.
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