Azerbaijani Opposition Party Officially Refuses to Participate in New Format of Co-operation

Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 August / Trend corr. E.Babayev / The opposition Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP) officially refused to join the co-operation format of the opposition parties boycotting the presidential elections. "The issue has been discussed at the leading structures of the party, where the ANIP's participation in new co-operation organization was considered as unreasonable," Ali Orujov, the deputy chairman of the ANIP, told Trend on 22 August.

The presidential elections will be held in Azerbaijan on 15 October. Azadlig bloc, uniting three opposition parties (the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, the Liberal Party and the Citizen and Development Party), the Classical Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, the Open Society Party, the  Musavat Party, the Civil Solidarity Party, the Democratic Party, the Great Establishment Party, the Azadlig, the National Independence Party, the Social Democrat Party, as well as Eldar Namazov, the head of the Public Forum of 'For Azerbaijan', refused to participate in the elections with own candidates.

Azadlig bloc Board of Chairmen made a decision to establish a co-operation centre of the parties, which refused to join the presidential elections, at the meeting held last week. Fuad Mustafayev, the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan functionary, was authorized to negotiate on behalf of the bloc in this regard. The main principle of the co-operation is to accept and confirm the elections as illegitimate, Mustafayev said. "We will co-operate with the parties, which accept this principle," he said.

Orujov stated that Mustafayev, the deputy chairman of the PFPA, contacted with him through telephone on this matter. "As a result of discussions, it was clarified that our positions did not coincide," Orujov said and noted that any co-operation format should have strategic aims. "However, it appears that the format is established only in connection with the elections due to initiators of co-operation format. The establishment of such organizations is useless. Moreover, during establishment of any organization, the interests of other parties being represented in it should be taken into consideration, as well as terms of any party should not be dictated," Orujov said. Other major difference between the ANIP and Azadlig bloc, where the PFPA joined, is their attitude toward the presidential elections, he said. "The bloc boycotted the elections. We did not join the elections for the lack of own candidate. These are different things," the ANIP deputy chairman said.

The ANIP was established in 1992 and is the first officially registered party. Etibar Mammadov was a founder and chairman of this party until 2004. At present, Mammadov is the deputy chairman of the International Democratic Society. Rustamov was elected the chairman of the ANIP at the congress on 22 January in 2006.

The correspondent can be contacted at- [email protected]

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