Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 21 / Trend M. Aliyev /
The pre-election situation in Azerbaijan is quieter than in previous elections, Paul Wille, the head of the PACE observation mission, told media at a press conference.
Wille stressed the progress in the activity of the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission and activity of opposition parties on the eve of parliamentary elections. Wille called the opposition's participation in the electoral process within blocs as a positive fact.
At the same time, Wille called the lack of competition of ideas in the pre-election race a negative factor. He also spoke about the difficulties which candidates face during registration at the CEC.
"Many Azerbaijanis residing abroad can only vote in a particular constituency [in Azerbaijan], at the place of registration," he said, attributing this fact as negative.
Moreover, all necessary conditions must be created to ensure participation of sick people and the disabled in the elections.
A 5-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), headed by Belgian Paul Wille observes the pre-election situation in Azerbaijan from October 19-21.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Nov. 7. The election campaign was officially launched on September 3. Previous legislative elections were held in November 2005. Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan are held by the majority system in 125 electoral constituencies.
Another PACE delegation, consisting of 30 members, will observe the voting process.
The delegation will meet with President Aliyev, Speaker of the Parliament, Interior Minister and representatives of political parties and coalitions participating in the elections. The delegation will also meet with chairman of the Central Election Commission, chairman of the Constitutional Court, the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE, the head of the ODIHR / OSCE mission in Azerbaijan, as well as representatives of civil society, media representatives and diplomats.
He also stressed the constant improvement of the electoral process in Azerbaijan.
"PACE will conduct observations not only in Baku but in other Azerbaijani regions, Tadeush Ivinsky, another observer (Poland), said. This is not our first visit to Azerbaijan. One can not deceive us. We see all the positive and negative aspects of the pre-election situation," Ivinsky said.