Azerbaijani Opposition Musavat Party’s Refusal from Elections Resulted from External Forces’ Impact

Politics Materials 4 August 2008 17:40 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 August / Trend corr. E.Babayev/ Azerbaijan's Musavat opposition party stated external forces played a role in its decision to refuse to participate in the elections. Majority of the party supported participation in the elections and party's decision to participate was keeping force. The change of the situation seemed to be a secret operation. Questions arise - what happened behind the scenes? Who persuaded them not to participate in the elections? - a Musavat member, editor-in-chief of the Yeni Musavat party Rauf Arifogu said to Trend on 4 August.

The presidential elections will be held in Azerbaijan on 15 October. In October, 2007, the Musavat party decided to participate in the elections. Party's meeting on 2 August decided to refuse to participate. The parties of Civil Solidarity, the Communistic and the Great Establishment refused to participate in the presidential elections with own candidates. Bloc Azadlig uniting three opposition parties (Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Citizen and Development Party, Liberal Party), as well as the Classic Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, decided to boycott the elections.

Arifoglu said whatever the case is Musavat's decision corresponds to the government's interests. "I doubt and I am concerned on the issue. I mean the decision was taken with meddling of some external forces, or the step was taken to come to agreement with the government, or there are other odd nuances of this type," Arifoglu said, adding that he does not consider the refusal to participate in the elections to be adequate to the politcal situation. "Well-known leaders of the traditional opposition have deviated from struggle with Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijani opposition have turned into a sort of governmental support group. According to the editor-in-chief, opposion's statements about undemocratic pre-election situation are just a pretext. "In fact, the situation has not changed. As to the government's attitude towards elections, the situation is the same like at previous elections. All issues, raging from the chairman of the Central Election Commission to others, have either a little deterritorated or remained unchanged. In this aspect, I believe the exuses are insignificant. The reality is that the heads, activists of the opposition failed to carry out their work, to bear the responsibility. In October, 2007, the Musavat party decided to participate in the elections. Nothing has been made to implement the decision within this period. The funds required for election campaign have not been found, which is a commission of party's administration. Generally, the activities intended for preparation for elections were low-quality. Other opposition parties experienced the same situation. Opposition leaders are lazy. They have got used to find easy ways. This bad habit has lead the opposition to a deadlock. All pretexts are just demagogy. The opposition should have tried to participate in the elections, to change the situation. We get this opportunity once a five years. What are we to do now? We have been waiting for five years to change the situation. So, now we must wait for 2013. It is doubtful that the opposition will retain its current composition and state by that time," said Arifoglu. He clarified the the possibility of party's participation in the elections with other candidate: "Very little time has left. Should the decision have been taken a month ago, we could voice a wise view in this respect. The time is so little that it is too difficult to say something sound just now. Party's structures are experiencing a shock at the moment. They need time to overpass this state".

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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