Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.19 / Trend , M.Aliyev /
Pre-election situation in Azerbaijan is democratic with freedom of speech and press and a favorable atmosphere for the activities of political authorities. This conclusion has been made by Baku branch of the International Institute for Monitoring Democracy Development, Parliamentarianism and Suffrage Protection of Citizens of the Secretariat of the IPA CIS Council after the initial monitoring of municipal elections in Azerbaijan on Dec. 23, 2009.
Azerbaijani municipal elections are scheduled for December 23, 2009. About 15,682 members are planned to be elected to 1,718 municipalities.
According to observations of the Baku branch of the Institute, organizing of the electoral process allows holding democratic, fair and transparent municipal elections in Azerbaijan.
The monitoring was held in Baku, Ganja, Yevlakh, Shamakhi, Oguz, Absheron, Sumgait, Guba and covered the activities of electoral commissions on preparation for the municipal elections. In addition, broad poll was held among people in Baku.
The results of the long-term observations of the Baku branch of the Institute will be announced the next day after the elections.
Azerbaijan has registered about 32,000 candidates for municipal members. Candidates from 18 political parties have been registered for elections. Candidates refer to 30 political parties.
Municipal elections were held twice in 1999 and 2004.