“Boycott” of Azerbaijani parliamentary election by ODIHR unacceptable (UPDATE 2)

Details added (first version posted on 10:01)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 3


OSCE/ODIHR and some other structures have no reason to express any opinion about Azerbaijan's Nov. 1 parliamentary election, taking into account the violation of mandate by those structures and their unprofessional behavior, said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

PACE's observer mission, and other international and local missions confirmed that the election, held in Azerbaijan Nov. 1, was free and democratic, reflected the voters' will, while the election preparations and the voting process were organized at a high level, according to a message issued by the ministry Nov. 3.

The voting process complied with the Electoral Code of Azerbaijan, and neither the Central Election Commission, nor the international observers had any complaints regarding the electoral process.

"Some circles' talks about a "boycott" of the election, statements about a low voter turnout and that allegedly Azerbaijan didn't create an opportunity for the ODIHR to observe the election, are absolutely groundless accusations aimed at casting shadow on the Azerbaijani election results," said the ministry.

The ministry added that the attempts to speak on behalf of the Azerbaijani voters and candidates, as well as some international media outlets' biased reports, which don't have any reference to official sources, are absolutely inadmissible.

All the necessary conditions were created for candidates during the election for them to freely hold campaigns, said the ministry, adding that webcams were installed at polling stations and independent research centers conducted exit polls.

"The election was monitored by over 500 international and over 63,000 local observers," noted the Foreign Ministry. "International observers were representing over 40 international organizations and 27 countries."

The election was covered by local and foreign media, according to the ministry.

The Foreign Ministry also said in its message that in July this year, it sent an invitation to the OSCE/ODIHR, and on Aug. 12-14, a mission of that structure visited Azerbaijan and prepared a report, recommending 30 long-term and 350 short-term observers.

After the Azerbaijani side refused to receive such a large mission in the country with 125 constituencies, OSCE/ODIHR violated its mandate and refused from sending its observers to Azerbaijan, said the ministry.

OSCE/ODIHR has no right to unilaterally adopt such a decision, said the Foreign Ministry, adding that this institute, according to its mandate, should provide technical support to member countries in organizing and holding elections.

Following such a biased and unprofessional attitude of OSCE/ ODIHR, coupled with a serious violation of its mandate, this structure and other circles have no grounds to express an opinion on the results of the election in Azerbaijan, according to the message.

Azerbaijani people freely used their right to vote and participated in this election, said the ministry, adding that the results and legitimacy of the election is determined by voters, their activity and their votes.

Edited by SI

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