Russian political analysts: Parliamentary elections held at high level in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 8 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
The parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were held at a sufficiently high level, Russian political analysts, members of the Russian Vestnik Kavkaza information and analytical agency observation mission Ismail Agakishiyev and Alexei Vlasov said today.
"The current elections were held in a very calm atmosphere compared to 2005, not to mention the mid-1990s," Russian State Humanitarian University Caucasian Center Director and Trend Expert Council member Ismail Agakishiyev said.
Azerbaijan held the elections on Nov. 7.
The voter turnout hit about 50.14 percent (roughly 2.48 million voters) in Azerbaijan, the Central Election Commission's (CEC) Elections Information Center told Trend.
The CEC reported that 690 candidates are running in the elections.
Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan are held by the majority system in 125 constituencies. Previous parliamentary elections were held in November 2005.
He said that all of the necessary conditions were created at the polling stations. Pressure was also not exerted on voters.
"Today, Azerbaijan has stability," he said. "The country is on the path to real development. Azerbaijan provides 75 percent of the economy of the entire South Caucasus. There are great achievements and stability."
Agakishiyev stressed that President Ilham Aliyev has achieved the most important goal - maintaining stable development and peace in the region.
"Development leads to progress," he said. "Azerbaijan should keep the current level of stability and economic development to become one of the most advanced countries in 10-15 years. Anyone who opposes the current course of the country should remember this fact. They should not forget that it is criminal to put their personal interests above the interests of the people."
The new parliament, all of the governmental institutions and the opposition must concentrate their efforts on investments in the national economy, further developing the real economy, and refusing from an economic monopoly rather than sorting out their personal problems, he said.
Meanwhile, Moscow State University History Faculty Deputy Dean Alexei Vlasov said the voter turnout was predictable, but youths were not actively involved in the electoral process.
The country is looking younger, he said. Azerbaijan's future task is to teach these youths, who grew up during the era of independence, to understand their civic duty. Azerbaijan must educate them as to the need to participate in the elections, Vlasov added.
He also said that many EU observers raised the question of marking.
"Observers think that this is the last century," he said. "However, this question is debatable."
Another positive development and an interesting initiative during this year's elections was the e-voting, he said. Over 25,000 people voted this way, Vlasov stressed.
E-voting was held for the first time in Azerbaijan this year. It was only used as a test, but 25,442 voters voted this way, Vlasov said.
He also raised the issue of international missions monitoring the elections.
"Unfortunately, there is the feeling that the work of observer missions is a competitive process," he said. "So it is necessary to increase the role of independent observers."
He underscored that various supervisory institutions must work together to develop common criteria for observation missions in the future.