Date of Azerbaijani Ruling Party Meeting Changed

Azerbaijan, Baku, 5 June / corr. Trend E. Babayev/ The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) has re-considered its plans for presidential elections after Bill on Supplements and Changes into Election Code was passed. "The election program of NAP has undergone some changes and date of the meeting has been changed, after the term of election campaign was shortened from 120 days to 75 days," Mubariz Gurbanli, deputy executive secretary of NAP and MP said to Trend on 5 June.

Milli Majlis (the Azerbaijani parliament) passed the Bill on Supplements and Changes to the Election Code on 2 June. According to the Bill, the presidential candidates are prohibited to conduct election campaign in state-owned TV channels with the term of the election campaign being shortened from four months up 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 presidential elections. .

The ruling party was planning to hold a meeting by late June and early July. However, given the changes to the Election Code, its date has been changed.

According to Gurbanli, the NAP candidate will be nominated after election campaign officially starts in line with the legislation. "The current President Ilham Aliyev will be nominated for the presidential elections in the party meeting," NAP representative said. He also does not rule out the possible staff changes within the party.

The presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be held on 15 October 2008. The official start to the elections will be given by late July and early August.

NAP was established by the chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Heydar Aliyev in 1992. The current President Ilham Aliyev is the chairman of the Party, which has been ruling for already 14 years.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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