Interview with Ilyas Ismayilov, the co-chair of the вЂ�Democratic AzerbaijanвЂ™ Elections Bloc, also the chairman of the Adalet Party
Question: You a lot complained of your rivals, who nominated their candidacy from the constituency you ran for. Have you appealed to relevant bodies in connection with the violation in the constituency elections commissions?
Answer: Facts of violation is referred not only to Tovuz-Gazakh-Agstafa constituency election commission 106, where I will ballot, but the situation is peculiar to entire country. Unfortunately, today the elections and business have been combined into one. This is not the way of development, in the contrary the factor which violates democracy and legal equality. Many candidates try to attract electors through use of their wealth, finances, and distribute money among people. In this situation the conduct democratic elections is out of question. Besides, it will be possible to remove such violations, if it would occur only in one precinct. However, illegal elections propaganda of вЂ™lavishвЂ™ candidates covers the country. We sent a letter of complain to the Central Elections Commission in connection with law-breaks, but are still waiting for answer to the appeal.
Question: How do you estimate the first stage of elections and flow of ongoing elections campaign?
As compared to previous years there is no serious problem which could excite concerns this year. IвЂ™d like the situation to continue by the end of the year and not to see serious problems and shortcomings. I myself did not face with serious obstacles, or pressures during the electioneering except 1 or 2 facts. Only in some villages officials of the local executive bodies tried to interfere a meeting with electors. They did not allow us to meet with electors in the elections precinct, while the place allocated for meetings were either destroyed, or non-renovated. We informed the district executive power on illegal actions by the local executive powers. The rest cases neither the local officers nor representatives of the local executive bodies interfered our affairs and did not put obstacles in our way.
Question: The international observers say the multiplicity of candidates testifies for the democratic organization of elections. Do you the multiplicity of candidates to guarantee democratic conduct of elections?
Answer: The fact of unimpeded registration of citizens, desiring to participate in the elections is step towards the democracy. Provision of citizensвЂ™ rights for participation in the elections is the demand of the law. The candidacy of some people nominated from the bloc, was registered. There are also candidates from other blocs and parties who failed to get registration. In general, the opportunities for the balloting in the elections could be regarded as up to appropriate law.
How do you estimate the organization of unsanctioned actions in the pre-elections period?
I support the superiority of the law everywhere. Our party does not participate in unsanctioned actions. As to the organization of the unsanctioned actions by other parties and blocs, the actions could be organized in the places offered by the Baku Mayoral Office. If they do not agree upon it and want to rally, it is still their affair and I respect every decision. I donвЂ™t personally support the illegal actions, unsanctioned rallies, and resistance. Besides, the blocs should not conduct propaganda in majority elections system. The candidates balloting through this system ought to hold private meetings with electors, take interest in their problems, and acquaint them with their ideas and elections platforms. But now some candidates call on the people either to vote to their party or elections bloc during their televised speeches. This is not a proportional elections system, so propaganda of a candidate, but not of a party must be conducted. From this aspect the candidates would be better to meet with better to meet rather to hold mass actions.
Question: The Elections Bloc вЂ�Democratic AzerbaijanвЂ™, which your party enters, voiced its disagreement that it could not receive free air time. Are you going to raise the question anew?
Answer: Well, despite the multiplicity of the candidates of the bloc, we could not receive free air time. The chance was given only to blocs and parties, which registered candidates in over 60 constituencies. The Democratic Azerbaijan bloc was to use the free air time. In this connection we appealed to relevant bodies. Perhaps, the co-chair of the bloc, MP Sabir Rustamkhanly, will put forward this question at the parliament. Equal conditions must be offered to all candidates and blocs, participating in the elections.