U.S. Department of State makes statement on parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan
The U.S. Department of State declared that the November 7 parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were peaceful.
"The November 7 parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were peaceful, with the participation of all opposition parties and observers from domestic groups and the international community," the statement says.
Azerbaijan held the parliamentary elections Nov. 7. The voter turnout hit about 50.14 percent (roughly 2.48 million voters) in Azerbaijan. The CEC reported that 690 candidates are running for the parliamentary elections.
31 employees of the Embassy observed the elections in Baku and regions, 45 Americans were part of the OSCE/ODIHR mission.
Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, said the USA supports the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) mission's preliminary assessment
The U.S. Department of State notes that some technical aspects of the election, including centralized registration and the inclusion of record numbers of domestic observers, constituted improvements, as did a modest increase in the percentage of female candidates. However, there were serious problems noted during the pre-election process and on election day itself.
The U.S. shares concerns by the OSCE/ODIHR Observer Mission that the pre-election environment was characterized by a lack of balanced media coverage of candidates, continued restrictions on fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression, and a deficient candidate registration process that, taken together, resulted in an uneven playing field for candidates.