“Azerbaijan’s referendum held in line with int’l standards”
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 27
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
According to the unanimous opinion of international observers, the referendum in Azerbaijan was held in accordance with international standards, said Angelo Farrugia, head of the mission of the European Academy for Elections Observation (EAEO), speaker of the Maltese parliament.
Farrugia made the remarks Sept. 27 at a press conference in Baku.
He said that the voting was fair, free and in line with the country’s legislation.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) assured that enough space, free broadcasting time and media for the campaigning were provided, noted the head of the mission, adding that a month before the referendum documents with 29 amendments to the Azerbaijani Constitution were delivered to the country’s citizens by mail.
Conditions were created for checking the availability of a citizen’s name in the electoral lists on the CEC website, he added.
Farrugia said also that international observers welcomed a separate ballot on all 29 amendments, because it was prevented from forming a global opinion on the introduced reforms.
“Our mission visited about 20 polling stations in Baku and surrounding areas,” he noted.
The referendum was held quietly and the free unhindered access to polling stations was provided, added the expert.
Local authorities and police didn’t interfere in the vote process, he noted adding that there was no problem with the registration of voters.
Security cameras were installed at around 20 percent of polling stations across the country that allowed to fully observe the process.
In total, the vote process met international standards and was held professionally, said Farrugia.
Most local observers’ participation in the vote process is an indicator of civil society responsibility, he added.
The expert noted also that the counting of votes took place openly and transparently.
Observers monitored the process of votes’ counting and didn’t see any problems, said the head of the mission.
Results on each polling station were sealed and sent to the CEC, he added.
Voters noted that the ongoing war with Armenia, geopolitical instability, increasing fundamentalism, the threat of terrorism and global financial and economic crisis are the main reasons to support a constitutional model that creates opportunities for a strong and stable government, which can solve any threats and problems, added Farrugia.
Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov