Azerbaijani Opposition Not to Affect Legitimacy of Presidential Elections – Political Expert

Politics Materials 19 June 2008 19:23 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 June / Trend corr E. Babayev/ Azerbaijani opposition will not be able to affect legitimacy of presidential elections to take place in the country this year. "The forces considered to be opposition in Azerbaijan will participate in the elections. Thus, the main weapon of boycotting - doubts about legitimacy - will lose its sense," political expert Zardusht Alizade said to Trend on 19 June.

Azerbaijan will host the presidential elections on 15 October. Musavat party has already nominated its Chairman Isa Gambar, Azerbaijan Democratic Party - Sardar Jalaloglu, the Greens Party nominated Mais Gulaliyev and the Popular Front Party of Unified Azerbaijan nominated Gudrat Hasanguliyev. 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. Bloc Azadlig uniting three opposition parties (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Citizen and Development Party, Liberal Party) intends to boycott the elections. Chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan Ali Karimli stated Azadlig bloc's decision to boycott the elections would affect authorities' legitimacy.

Alizade thinks if all opposition boyycots the elections, that may be effective. "During presidential elections of 1998, all main opposition parties chose the way of boycotting. But then chairman of the Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP) Etibar Mammadov joined the elections and boycott had no effect. As a result of parliamentaty elections of 2000, Popular Front Party passed to the Parliament. To my mind, opposition must get rid of its false members. I think chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu, chairman of Popular Front Party of Unified Azerbaijan Gudrat Hasanguliyev, chairman of Citizen Solidarity Party Sabir Rustamkhanli are not opposition members. They cooperate with the Government," he said.

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