"Arguments in Favour of Participation in Presidential Elections Prevailing" – Azerbaijan’s Opposition Leader
Azerbaijan, Baku, 27 June / Trend corr E. Babayev/ Opposition bloc Azadlig took a final decision on participation in presidential elections. "We resolutely intend to boycott the elections and the decision will be announced at the Parliament," Lala Shovkat Hajiyeva, co-founder of Azadlig, leader of the National Unity Movement, said on 27 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, the Popular Front Party of Unified Azerbaijan nominated Gudrat Hasanguliyev and Musair Musavat nominated Hafiz Hajiyev. The head of the public forum For Azerbaijan Eldar Namazov stands for presidency as an independent candidate. Bloc Azadlig uniting three opposition parties (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Citizen and Development Party, Liberal Party) intends to boycott the elections.
The governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) will nominate country's current President Ilham Aliyev. Pro-governmental parties Ana Vatan and Social Prosperity Party intend to support Ilham Aliyev at the elections.
According to Hajiyeva, Azadlig has been waiting for completion of the PACE June session, however it is not content with the discussions over Azerbaijan. Hajiyeva said the bloc had not agreed with the statements in the resolution that Nagorno-Karabakh problem impedes development of democracy in the country. "So, Moldova and Georgia must be undemocratic countries. These countries are also experiencing conflicts. We have often heard the argument driven by PACE from authorities at several meetings," she said.
During the summer session, PACE passed a Resolution on the situation of democratic institutes in Azerbaijan on the threshold of presidential elections.
The reports developed by co-rapporteurs touched such issues as improvement of the Election Code, elimination of bounds in free education, undelayable release of imprisoned journalists.
Chairman of the Musavat party Isa Gambar thinks arguments in favour of participation in presidential elections are prevailing. "In order to substantiate the decision to boycott the elections I can list 99 reasons and to participate in the elections I can list 101 reasons," Gambar said to journalists on 27 June.
According to Gambar, boycotting of elections is not a key issue. "The current situation must be changed. Real democratic changes are the priority subject," he said.
Gambar did not comment on the results of discussions at Musavat about participations in the elections.
Opposition Musavat party was founded at the beginning of 1992. Its leader, Isa Gambar, was the speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament between 1992 and 1993. In 2003, he ran for presidency. The party is represented by 5 MPs in the Parliament.
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