Top Azerbaijani official: Statement of OSCE/ODIHR serious damage to organization’s authority

Top Azerbaijani official: Statement of OSCE/ODIHR serious damage to organization’s authority

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 11 /Trend/

The opinion, announced by the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), on law violations at the presidential election in Azerbaijan is based not on any serious fact, but on false information spread by the opposition, head of the Public and Political Issues Department of Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov said on Thursday commenting on the statement of the OSCE/ODIHR mission.

"The current presidential election in Azerbaijan was observed by numerous international observation missions, and large delegations of foreign countries," Hasanov said. "The necessary conditions were created for all observer missions for an all-round observation of the election process."

Most of the international observers, giving a principled and objective assessment to the election process and the voting results, said the election was mostly free, transparent and democratic.

"We regret that in Azerbaijan, where the media outlets freely operate and where the right of freedom of expression and assembly is secured, the opinion of the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission does not coincide with the views of European and different international observation missions, which observed the same election process in the same conditions," Hasanov said.

Hasanov said the fate of the election in each country is determined by the will of the citizens.

Regardless of the international organization's attitude to this process, its opinion does not harm the legitimacy of the elected person, and the processes continue in line with citizens' will, he added.

"OSCE/ODIHR observation mission's opinion on shortcomings is based not on a serious fact, but on false information spread by the opposition. This view is a manifestation of a very biased and non-objective approach. OSCE's position completely contradicts to the position of numerous observation missions that arrived in our country, including various international bodies representing European, American and Asian countries, about 1,000 observers," Hasanov said.

According to him, the representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the CIS, BSEC Parliamentary Assembly and the NGO Forum, TURKPA and other organizations noted at the press conferences held on Wednesday and Thursday that the election in Azerbaijan was free, transparent, democratic and just, and underlined that the election fully meet international standards. These observation missions included MPs, public and political leaders, representatives of NGOs, experienced professional experts of election observation.

"Therefore, we can confidently say that ODIHR's position absolutely doesn't reflect the position of countries which enter the OSCE area. Thus, a subjective opinion, made by the current monitoring mission, is not only a disrespect for the will of Azerbaijani voters, but also counteracts the OSCE commitments on impartiality, objectivity, and collegiality to member countries," Hasanov said.

Azerbaijan's top official said that such an activity - opinions made on the basis of different standards, and subjective approaches to serious political processes taking place in the Member States, inflict serious damage to the OSCE's authority, and definitely affects in a negative way its relations with the member countries.

"The OSCE has caused Azerbaijani citizens' serious distrust to objectivity a while ago with its subjective assessment of the presidential election held in Armenia. So, it was ODIHR which deliberately turned a blind eye to the fact that the pre-election situation during the presidential election in Armenia was fully criminalized, opposition's election campaign in all regions was fully limited, one of the presidential candidates was shot, false information was spread about 3 million voters in a country with a population of 2 million people, as well as ballots were thrown in the boxes in batches. The organization, by expressing particularly 'fundamental' and 'warm' attitude towards the presidential election, positively assessed the poll held in condition of complete oppression of the media outlets and gross violation of human rights," Hasanov said.

There was a feeling that the ODIHR in its reports was using biased information against Azerbaijan, he underscored.

"Indeed, an institute, which represents such an organization as the OSCE, should not allow anything like this and such approach is clearly not acceptable for us. If this continues, the Azerbaijani government will be obliged to reconsider its cooperation with the ODIHR in future, continuing previous relationship with the OSCE and other international organizations," Hasanov said.

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