Opposition Party of Azerbaijan to Consider Its Decision to Take Part in Presidential Elections
Azerbaijan, Baku, 20 June / corr. Trend E. Babayev/ The oppositional Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (DPA) is likely to change its decision to take part in the elections. "If this keeps on like this, there is no point in taking part in the elections and now I can understand those who support boycott," Sardar Jalaloglu, the chairman of DPA said to Trend on 20 June.
The parliament of Azerbaijan 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, radios and newspapers with the term of the election campaign being shortened from four months up to 75 days. Furthermore, the number of signatures require for the registration of the presidential candidates was decreased from 45,000 to 40,000. The oppositional parties, who consider the changes undemocratic, think to boycott elections.
The presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be held on 15 October 2008. The chairman of the Musavat party Isa Gambar, chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu, chairman of the Green Party Mais Gulaliyev and chairman of the public forum For Azerbaijan Eldar Namazov have decided to participate in the presidential elections. Several days ago, political scientist Eldar Namazov stated that he would run for presidency independently. At its meeting, to take place in near future, Governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) will nominate country's current President Ilam Aliyev. The Azadlig bloc, which unites three opposition parties -Popular Front party, Citizen and Development party and Liberal party, will boycott the presidential elections.
According to Jalaloglu, the Party is waiting for the supplements and changes to the Election Code to be approved by the head of state. "DPA has almost suspended preparations for the presidential elections," Jalaloglu said. The Party will hold discussions and will make its final decision after the Election Code takes effect, he added. "If we decide to boycott elections, we will not cooperate with Azadlig bloc. At present, we do not discuss this issue yet, but we can consider it in the future," he said.
The Right Wing DPA was founded in 1991 by Sardar Jalaloglu. The party stuck to the radical position until January 2007; however it decided to establish a dialogue with the Government in January 2007. As a protest, Rasul Guliyev, the former speaker of the parliament and his supporters turned down DPA and established the Open Society party.
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