" Azerbaijan’s NGOs Not to Be Bounded for Exit-polls during Elections" – Presidential Administration
Azerbaijan, Baku, 2 July / Trend corr E.Babayev/ Local NGOs in Azerbaijan will not face restrictions to hold exit-polls during presidential elections, as well as to monitor the elections. "Azerbaijani Government is interested to improve the role of NGOs for further democratization of the country. State and public's trust to NGOs will promote their participation in elections," said Arastun Mehdiyev head of Department on NGOs at Azerbaijani President's Executive Office said to Trend on 2 July.
On 13 June, 2008, Azerbaijani Parliament's meeting passed changes in the Law on NGOs, which provided local NGOs with power to hold parallel vote counting during elections.
According to Mehdiyev, previously NGOs used to face problems during observation of elections. During the parliamentary elections of 2005, several bounds were eliminated. "Now, the role of NGOs will be eve more expanded on the threshold of next presidential elections. They are trusted to hold exit-polls. To do that, they have only to apply to the Central Election Committee (CEC)," Mehdiyev said.
Mehdiyev said there is a good legislative basis in Azerbaijan for NGO activities. Moreover, the Council for Support to NGOs was established by a presidential decree. "At the moment, any NGO-related new measures are not expected to be taken. More attention must be paid to fulfilment of the decisions made," said Mehdiyev.
Presidential elections will take place in Azerbaijan on 15 October.
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