Azerbaijan’s Political Circles Profiteer in Election Code – Presidential Administration (video)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 June / Trend corr E. Babayev/ "Several political circles profiteer in supplements and changes in the Election Code," Ali Hasanov, head of the socio-political department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, said.

"Opposition parties make unreasoned claims on composition of election committees. Formation of committees on equal basis does not correspond with political palette of today's society," Hasanov said to journalists on 14 June.

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. Bloc Azadlig uniting three opposition parties (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Citizen and Development Party, Liberal Party) intends to boycott the elections.

Azerbaijan will host the presidential elections on 15 October. 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 Ilham Aliyev.

According to Hasanov, in current situation, the improved Azerbaijani Election Code will enable democratic, equitable, transparent and trustful elections. "Opposition interpret the changes in the light advantageous to them. Therefore, under the influence of those political forces Venice Commission, several CE MPs also differently interpret the new Election Code," he said.

"As to election committees, Azerbaijani authorities compromised. They stated they are ready to admit all issues with which all political parties agree. For this purpose, a special conference took place including political parties. Unfortunately, they failed to agree on the issue. So, the authorities proposed to retain the current composition of election committees," Hasanov said.

The correspondent can be contacted at [email protected]

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