Approved Election Code Not Affect Presidential Candidates’ Position in Azerbaijan

Politics Materials 24 June 2008 13:32 (UTC +04:00)
Approved Election Code Not Affect Presidential Candidates’ Position in   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 June / Trend corr. E.Babayev / Azerbaijani political forces did not express one opinion regarding the elections after the supplements and changes into the Elections Code were approved. "Hesitation occurred within some opposition parties, as they considered that the supplements and changes into the Code would not be approved. However, I made statement that no changes are expected into the Code by the President. From this point of view, I take it normal that President will approve the draft," Eldar Namazov, Leader of the Public Forum For Azerbaijan and candidate for presidential post, told TrendNws.

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.

Azerbaijan will host the presidential elections on 15 October.

Musavat party has already nominated its Chairman Isa Gambar, Azerbaijan Democratic Party - Sardar Jalaloglu, Greens Party, Mais Gulaliyev, Populr Front of Unified Azerbaijan party, Gudrat Hasanguliyev and Modern Musavat nominated Hafiz Hajiyev. 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 Ilam Aliyev. Bloc Azadlig uniting three opposition parties (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Citizen and Development Party, Liberal Party)intends to boycott the elections.

Namazov said that the approved draft would not affect his plans regarding the upcoming presidential elections. "I will participate in the elections," Namazov siad.

Sardar Jalaloglu, Chairman of the opposition Democratic party of Azerbaijan (DPA), stated that he had quite different attidude to the approved draft. The Election Code gives the ground to predict that the elections would be undemocratic. "We have made a decision to participate in the elections. However, certain hesitation occurred within the party after we took this decision. We will discuss this issue and I will support any decision made by majority," Jalaloglu said.

Ali Aliyev, a member of the Azadlig bloc and chairman of the Citizen and Developemnt party, told Trendnews that there had been shortcomings in the egislation before the recent supplements and changes were made into the Code. The current technical character of changes will cause more undemocratic conditions to hold eelctions. Aliyev considers right bloc's decision to boycott the elections and said that the final decision regarding boycott to be made in the meeting of the Assembly.

Arif Hajili, Head of the Central Executive Administration of Musavat party, told Trend that Musavat expected that President to approve the draft. "However, we expected that the changes may be re-considered taking into consideration pressure by population and international organizations. We continue discussions concerning participation in the elections," Hajili said.

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