Azerbaijani official: Police has achievements in improving activities during elections (UPDATE-2)

Azerbaijani official: Police has achievements in improving activities during elections (UPDATE-2)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 9 / Trend K.Zarbaliyeva /

The Azerbaijani police have managed to improve and enhance its activities to ensure law and order during the elections over the years of independence, based on the new electoral laws, Deputy Interior Minister Oruj Zalov said at the courses organized by the Central Election Commission (CEC) for the chairmen of district election commissions on Tuesday.

"We perform the appropriate exercises to carry out activities provided in the Election, Criminal and Administrative Codes. The ministry created a special working group and drafted the plan. Relevant measures are taken in accordance with this plan," Zalov added.

He said the police are obliged to ensure public order, register the recorded violations in the legal form and protect polling stations during the elections.

"Duties of the police, as well as responsibilities of the search operation-investigation and passport registration services, in this process are clearly defined. The police carry out monitoring during the rallies, pickets and meetings of candidates with voters. Holding such meetings and actions is agreed with the local authorities. The police inform about the upcoming event. If the action is not allowed, the police negotiate with the organizers and remind them about special places allocated by the city executive power. If meetings and actions are agreed, then the police are tasked to follow the public order and prevent crime," he said.

He said about 1,600 meetings and rallies with voters were held during the parliamentary elections. About 1,500 of them were agreed and no incidents recorded.

"The police have instructions to stay outside the polling stations and not to interfere in the voting process. The police had no serious complaints, as these instructions were followed," he said.
"We tried for the election results not to be taken under question at any polling station," he said. "There were no observers' claims on police intervention in the electoral process."

Last year there were some problems with identity cards," he said. "It is known that citizens must renew identity cards upon reaching 25, 35 and 50 years old. Last year, the identity cards were renewed. Those who failed to renew, voted with the old identity cards. Citizens must be interested in renewing their identity cards. This is not a complicated process."
He said there were problems with the registration of citizens.

"New houses have been built, but there is no address and registration," he said. "The President ordered to solve this issue. This work is underway. I hope that this problem will be solved before the next elections. The institute of district officers was approved in 2008. The work on this issue with citizens is underway. We will not have a problem with identity cards during next elections.

The deputy minister stressed that if citizens live at any address more than three months, they must get registration.

Azerbaijan plans to hold elections for vacant places in the municipalities by late 2011.

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