Politics Materials 29 June 2005 18:29 (UTC +04:00)

“Strict measures may be taken in regard to Azerbaijan, including the cessation of Azerbaijani parliamentary representatives’ mandate at the PACE, unless the parliamentary elections meet the CE’s requirements,” Andreas Herkel, the co-rapporteur of the PACE Monitoring Committee on Azerbaijan, told Trend in
an exclusive interview.

Herkel said that the draft changes to the Law on Elections, adopted by the Milli Majlis (parliament), do not reflect the basic requirements of the Venice Commission. Insignificant remarks were taken into consideration, while the changes to the staff of the elections commissions вЂ" the most important вЂ" was left out of attention.

В"Azerbaijan has time to inject changes and the issue could be solved in July,В" Herkel noted. He underlined that the final resolution in still to be taken by the Azerbaijani parliament. Otherwise, the issue would negatively impact on the CE’s position in regard to Azerbaijan.

Herkel stated that the disagreements at the PACE summer session in Strasburg did not affect the resolution “Situation in the sphere of democracy in Azerbaijan”, while the report “On situation of political prisoners” by Malcolm Bruce, the British MP, suffered considerable changes.

Gultakin Hajiyeva, the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegate at the PACE, in her turn regretted for the rapporteurs’ non-constructive position. “At the summer session of the PACE in Brussels the rapporteurs on Armenia condemned critic statements by European parliamentarians to Armenia’s address, while Andreas Herkel and Andreas Gross [PACE co-rapportuers on Azerbaijan] laid serious accusations on Baku,” she stressed. Hajiyeva added that the rapporteurs’ pessimistic position would negatively affect on development of the democratic processes in Azerbaijan.

Touching upon non-ratification of Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation’s new mandate at the PACE, she noted that “statement of such character could not be sounded in address of any western European country. Nobody has right to judge about the results of the forthcoming parliamentary election in Azerbaijan and the last changes to the elections code, adopted by the parliamentary on the eve, will positively affect on the parliamentary elections”.

The Azeri MP excluded the possibility of the special parliamentary meeting on injecting of changes to the Elections Code of Azerbaijan. “The draft changes to the parliament was adopted at the plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament on Tuesday. There is not necessity in special meeting,” Hajiyeva said.