Azerbaijani Opposition Bloc Not Changed its Decision to Boycott Elections
Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 June / Trend corr. E.Babayev / The Azerbaijani opposition bloc Azadlig will not change its decision to boycott the upcoming presidential elections. "Recently approved supplements and changes into the Election Code do not have any significance for us. We stated to boycott the elections before approving of the draft," Ali Karimli, Co-founder of Azadlig and Chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), told Trend on 24 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.
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
The final decision to boycott the elections by Azadlig will be made in the Assembly in the near future.
Lala Shovkat Hajiyeva, another co-founder of Azadlig and leader of the National Union movement, stated that the approved statements and supplements into the Code strengthened bloc's position to boycott the elections. In spite of the recent developments, bloc will wait the results of the PACE June session. "The discussions concerning Azerbaijan will be held in the session. The United States Secretary of State will pay a visit to Azerbaijan after ending of PACE summer session. The visit is connected with the elections. We will made the final decision regading to boycott the elections after Secretary of State's visit to the country,' Hajiyev said.
The correspondent can be contacted at:[email protected]