No Common Opinion to be Reached Amongst Azerbaijani Opposition Parties Regarding Presidential Elections

Azerbaijan, Baku, 11 June / Trend corr. J.Babayeva / The Democratic Election Centre (DEC), founded by nine opposition parties, will not reach common opinion regarding the presidential elections. "All parties united in DEC came to the conclusion that the draft of Supplements and Changes into the Election Code were reactionary. However, the parties represented in the organization, have different positions towards the elections," Ahmad Oruj, Chairman of the Azadlig party, stated.

On 30 January, nine Azerbaijani opposition parties - Classic Popular Front, Azadlig, National-Democratic, Great Establishment, Popular Front of Unified Azerbaijan, Great Azerbaijan, Open Spociety, Takamul and Green party of Azerbaijan, made a decision to establish DEC. Gudrat Hasanguliyev, Chairman of Popular Front of Unified Azerbaijan Party, and Mais Gulaliyev, Chairman of Green Party of Azerbaijan, made a decision to participate in the upcoming presidential elections.

The Parliament of Azerbaijan 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, to stick agitation papers on walls and private enterprises, 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. Candidates do not have to make deposits for election campaign. They will only collect signatures.  Opposition remained dissatisfied with the supplements and changes.

According to Oruj, some parties, represented in DEC, made a decision to participate in the elections, some to boycott and some have not been made any decision so far.

As for DEC activity after the presidential elections, Oruj stated that this issue whether to continue DEC activity would be taken only after the elections. "Under the DEC Charter, the organization is the union of political organizations, which cooperate in connection with the presidential, parliamentary and municipality elections," Oruj said.

Oruj stated that he support to continue DEC activity in the future as well.

The correspondent can be contacted at:[email protected]

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