MONTHLY POLITICAL REVIEW

Public-political life in the country was rich in August, which find reflection both in foreign political and internal political life.

Official newsreel

On 2 August Azerbaijani President left for Saudi Arabia to attend the funeral ceremony King Fahd ibn Abdel Aziz al Saud.

On 10 August President Aliyev visited Hovsani settlement of Surakhani district of Baku. After public meetings the head of state gave relevant instructions to Baku Mayor Hajibala Abutalibov on taking some measures with regard to resolve social problems of the residents of Hovsani.

The President also paid a visit to Sumgayit to attend the ceremony on unveiling a monument to former late President Heydar Aliyev. In his opening remarks President Aliyev noted the great contribution by father Aliyev in the development of Sumgayit, including the establishment of an industrial potential of the city. Speaking on forthcoming elections to parliament he noted that all items of the elections Code of Azerbaijan will be observed, while the elections should be held in democratic and transparent terms. He stressed that the local bodies should not interfere a process of voting. В"I am sure in right choice of the wise people of Azerbaijan in the name of the nation. The same time there is no room for people who earlier led the country to chaos,” Aliyev stated.

On 18-20 August Azerbaijani President visited Gabala Oguz and Ismayilli Districts (18-20 August) and clarified the problems of the local people during the public meetings.

The economic development of regions is a priority of Azerbaijan’s policy, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in a public meeting in Ismayilli District. Aliyev also visited Ivanovka village of Ismayilli district densely populated with lettuces. He reminded that after collapse of the USSR it was an only village which preserved former kolkhoz (collective farms) and sovkhoz (soviet farm). He proposed the villagers to select a place for construction and a modern school.

President assured the problems with energy supply of the country will be resolved by late 2006, thermo-power supply system will be restored, and road infrastructure will be improved.

Aliyev assured that the parliamentary elections scheduled for November will be democratic and transparent. Equal conditions will be provided for candidates during the pre-election campaign. "The authorities, like in 2003, will offer all facilities to ensure free, transparent and democratic elections, meeting the requirements of the international organizations,” Aliyev underlined.

He underlined that in 2006 the public budget will comprise as minimum $3.2bn, while the most part of the budget will be directed at the improvement to the welfare of the nation. "We are on the eve great economic success. Azerbaijan will become a prosperous country,” the President stressed.

During the trip he got familiar with problems of residents of the northwest regions, including land reforms, activities of local executive power.

Such visits has become part of the President’s domestic policy. Meeting with the citizens assume special importance when the authorities are focused on elections processes. The visits are first of all directed at active involvement of citizens in the elections process.

On 15 August Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation headed by Lars Danielson, the State Secretary of the Swedish Prime Minister’s Office.

The head of state underlined Azerbaijan’s interests in the development of bilateral relationships with Stockholm noting the huge unused potential of the Azerbaijani-Swedish cooperation in need of upgrade. President Aliyev noted that he will hence continue developing the relationships with Sweden under the European Union’s New Neighborhood Policy.

On 22 August President Aliyev received the chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Rene van der Linden.

Aliyev voiced his confidence that the PACE chairman�s visit to Azerbaijan would promote the direct familiarity with the ongoing processes in Azerbaijan.

In his turn linden underlined the CE’s support to the reforms implemented in Azerbaijan he also appraised the steps taken in the direction of peaceable resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

On 26 August Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev participated in the CIS summit in Kazan. The forum focused on the improvement and reformation in CIS bodies, the humanitarian cooperation. Azerbaijan refused from signing documents in the end of the summit. At the persistence of Baku the documents on fighting with terror and extremism was supplemented with rules on resistance to separatism.

On the eve of the Kazan Summit the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had a telephone talk with Azerbaijani President.

В"The United States attaches great importance to the upcoming meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and hopes they will make the compromises necessary in order to reach a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Condoleeza Rice said.

The United States also remains committed to finding a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the Minsk Group process, which is co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States.

Aliyev in his turn Aliyev voiced his hope that the talks in Kazan yield positive ends. Besides the sides touched upon the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.

On 27 August the Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents met in Kazan to discuss the ways of peaceable solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Attending the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia were the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Yuriy Merzlyakov of Russia, Steven Mann of the United States, Bernard Facie of France, as well as special envoy of the OSCE chairman-in-office Andjey Caspzyk.

No details were made on the result of the talks, as they were confidential. Armenia still insists on the packet resolution of the conflict, whereas Baku accepts the by-stage resolution, which implies withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the Azerbaijani territory first, repatriation of refugees and then sitting at table of talks for the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Party life

Several organizations were established in the country in August.

A presentation of the Students Movement was held on 3 August. The key objective of the organization is to carry out enlightenment work among students.

Fiyuzat youth movement was established on 2 August. The head of the organization, Anar Mammadli, said that their organization was against of resolutions. �The revolution should take place in the brains, but not in the streets,’ he stressed.

On 26 August republican movement Ireli was established. Ireli will support President Ilham Aliyev’s.

Eight political parties have been registered at the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry. They are parties of Freedom, Democratic Reforms, Evolution, Progress of Azerbaijan, Great Azerbaijan, Great Establishment, and the Popular Front for Civil Solidarity. Their documents were registered after they were brought in line with the notes and recommendations of the Ministry.

Besides, over 50 new non-governmental organizations were registered. The irregularities were found in the documents of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (classics), while they proposed the party to inject changes in its name in connection with functioning of an organization with the same name.

Parliamentary elections

The last week was remembered with continuing scandal around Ruslan Bashirli, the leader of �Yeni Fikir’ (New Idea) youth union, charged in preparing coup. Protest actions were staged in front of the building of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (PAP, reformers) from 8 to 12 August. The protestors condemned Ali Karimli, leader of the PFAP (reformers) and Bashirli.

On 22 August Yashar Jafarli, chairman of Civil Society electoral bloc, was imposed to attacks in his office.

Jafarli said a group of strange people attacked on the building of the bloc. They delivered him a blow at face with a metallic object. All equipment in the office has been destroyed.

In his turn Isgandar Hamidov, the chairman of the National Democratic Party, said attributed the incident as an ordered act linked with his public-political activities.

The ruling New Azerbaijan Party publicized the list of candidates on 15 candidates. 109 candidates will ballot from 125 constituencies.

Democratic Azerbaijan bloc adopted the list of candidates to be nominated for elections scheduled for 6 November. The bloc unites 4 parties - the National Unity Party, Adalet Azadlyg and Civil Solidarity Party.

Adalyg bloc held primaries on 12 August in 6 constituencies of the country. They were held from 10.00 to 18.00. As of result of voting in Absheron constituency 45 Etibar Talybli from the PFPA, Teyyub Guliyev from APFP, Fariz Jafarov from Musavat, Arzuman Abdulkarimov from Musavat, Maherram Mehdiyev Aliyev from Balakan, and Gulaga Aslanly from Musavat Party were elected as unified candidates.

Rene van der Linden, the chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), who was on a visit to Azerbaijan, held a meeting with the representatives of Azadlig and Yeni Siyaset (New Policy) elections bloc.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly o the Council of Europe (PACE) Rene van der Linden being on a visit to Azerbaijan held a meeting with the Azadlig block leaders on 22 august.The chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, reformists (PFPA) Ali Kerimli, the first deputy chairman of the Democratic Party Sardar Djalaloglu, the chairman of the Musavat Party Isa Gambar, a special representative of the CE Secreatry General in Azerbaijan Matz Lindberg and the CE representatives took part in the meeting, Trend reports.

The CEC of Azerbaijan appealed to the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh calling to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan on 6 November. The CEC resolved to establish constituencies in Khankandi (122) and Khojavand (124).

U.S. Ambassador Reno Harnish paid a tour to northern regions visit in August to meet members of the regional braches of the opposition parties and pubic representatives.

The diplomat said the U.S. was attentively observing the situation with the issue of ID cards, as it might evolve serious problems on the elections in the country.

The attempts taken by Azadlyg bloc for staging rallies in region were failure. The bloc could arrange a sanctioned mass action only in Baku on 27 August.

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