Azerbaijani Opposition Party’s Head Demanded to Resign

Azerbaijan, Baku, 20 August / Trend corr. E.Babayev / Elshan Manafov, former member of the Central Committee of the left Social-Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (SDPA) is to stand for presidential post. "Manafov feels financial shortcomings to nominate his candidature," Manafov told Trend on 20 August.

At the meeting of SDPA Central Plenary session on 18 August, the party took a decision not to participate at the upcoming presidential elections with its own candidate due to financial problems.

Manafov resigned from his position arguing SDPA with authoritarianism.

Azerbaijan will host the presidential elections on 15 October 2008.

Manafov rejects his refusal from membership in the party. "SDPA will hold a meeting in September. I will demand resignation of Araz Alizade, party's co-chairman. The left parties reach serious successes in many countries. In Azerbaijan, however, left parties cannot reach any success. The activity of regional organizations of parties was paralyzed and party unites Alizade's people. There are no Ayaz Mutalibov's people represented in the party.

"I will demand the party leaders to attract reformist youths to the party," Manafov said. If Manafov failed to reach success, he will leave SDPA and establish the Left Democratic Party.

SDPA co-chairman told Trend that Manafov had kept silence so far, and now started to make such statement. "Perhaps, Manafov follows certain purposes. It will be better for him to clear his real intensions. The statement regarding absence of Mutalibov's supporters within the party also wrong. The party had equal number of supporters while Mutalibov and Alizade unite in the party. Later, some members left the party. If Manafov will make a decision to leave the party, nobody will attempt to stop him," Alizade said.

"Manafov failed to collect the necessary number of votes during the elections into the Central Committee. I asked to accept him to the Committee," Alizade said.

SDPA co-chairman did not believe that Manafov acts in accordance with Mutalibov's tutorship. "Mutalibov rejects party's participation, while Manafov intends to participate in the elections," Alizade said.

SDPA is a left wing opposition party. Alizade and Mutalibov are co-chairmen of the party. Mutalibov has been living in emigration in Moscow since 1992. Mutalibov was elected the first Azerbaijani President in 1991. In 1992, Mutalibov left the country for Moscow after coming of the Popular Front Movement to power. .   

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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