Internationally Recognized Opposition Parties Should Go to Elections in Azerbaijan: Party Leader
Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 July /corr. Trend E.Babayev / The oppositional Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) will probably change its decision on the participation in the elections. "Personally, I am for the participation in the elections and will try to convince the members of the party of this," Sardar Jalaloglu, the chairman of the ADP, told Trend on 3 July.
A range of changes were injected into the Election Code at the decision of Milli Majlis (the Azerbaijani Parliament) on 2 June. Election propaganda term was reduced from 120 days to 75 days. A total of 28 of 75 days will be spent for candidates' propaganda and the rest for the collection of signatures to register a candidate and examination of signatures by the Central Election Commission (CEC) and other procedures.
The number of votes required to support candidates is 40,000, but not 45,000 as it was earlier and the propaganda through state media is banned. The President adopted supplements and changes on 23 June. Dissatisfied with the supplements and changes the opposition stated that they would influence negatively on holding democratic elections.
The Supreme Majlis of the ADP took a decision to participate in the presidential elections on 16 February and nominated Jalaloglu's candidature. However, the party intends to review its decision. The Supreme Majlis of the party, where the ADP is to take a final decision on participation in the elections, will be held on 1 August.
According to Jalaloglu, unless parties, which the international community recognized as real opposition force, do not join the presidential elections, it will negatively influence on the image of the country. "We join the elections to gain a power because opportunities are restricted to change the authority through elections in Azerbaijan. Our participation can just increase significance of this process," he said. Jalaloglu said that participation in the elections was important to actualize problems and activate people in the country.
Sardar Jalaloglu established the right-of-centre ADP in 1991. The party held a radical oppositional policy with respect to the current authorities until January 2007. The ADP passed to a new policy, providing for dialogues with the authorities in January 2007. Rasul Guliyev, a former chairman of the party, and his supporters protested against the party's new policy and left the party, further uniting in the Open Society Party.
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