WEEKLY POLITICAL REVIEW

Official news

On Sunday (6 November) Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with his family members arrived in the polling station of Sabayil Constituency Elections Commission 26 at secondary school #6. After the polling the head of state answered the journalists’ questions. Voicing his satisfaction with the process of elections, President Aliyev said that the preparations in all stages were held in high level and in accordance with the Elections Code, Trend reports.
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“Favorable and equal conditions were offered to all candidates and the agitation campaign was held successfully. All necessary work has been done to make the elections transparent,” Aliyev underlined.

According to Aliyev, the situation is normal on the elections day. “I’m sure that the elections will be fair and transparent and reflect the will of the nation,” he stressed.

President Aliyev said that despite Azerbaijan is a country with presidential ruling, the elections assume great importance for future development of the country. “After the elections the progress of the country will gain new speed in economy and democratization, as well as other spheres,” he emphasized.

President Ilham Aliyev held on 2 November a meeting at the Baku executive power office dedicated to the socio-economic development of villages and settlements around Baku. Representatives of intelligentsia and municipalities of the villages, as well as state employees took part in the meeting, Trend reports.

President noted, development in all spheres is observed lately. The indicator of it is opening of over 300,000 jobs, new industrial objects. It all shows, that the strategy and policy selected by us are correct”, Aliyev stressed.

The head of the state noted also, the villages and settlements around Baku lag behind these processes and underlined the necessity for adopting a special program for the socio-economic development.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with deputy chairman of the committee on legal and human rights issues of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Eduard Lintner. В"We are satisfied to see the efforts and achievements of Azerbaijan in democratic elections and democratization on the whole”, the President said.

The president stated, much is implemented in Azerbaijan aimed at democratization of the society, important laws are passed, joining to many international conventions is going on.

Aliyev also said, cooperation of Azerbaijan with the Council of Europe continues successfully. According to him, Azerbaijan fulfilled its commitments to the Council of Europe to a full extent. He noted, all necessary conditions created for holding free and fair elections.

Co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group appealed to Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Russian co-chairman Yuri Merzlyakov told Trend exclusively.

In the message, according to him, there is a request to the heads of the states to receive the Minsk Group co-chairs during the scheduled for mid- December next visit of the co-chairmen to the region. Besides, there is also desire in regard to the separate meetings expected on 5-6 December in Ljubljana of the co-chairs with the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia. В"The ministers will be there. I do not think they will refuse to meet with us. We will set forth our ideas on a number of issues needing coordination”, Merzlyakov added.

Touching upon the latest consultations of the co-chairmen in Washington on 24-25 October, the diplomat said, this was a working meeting aimed at identification of future plans, as well as elaboration of proposals. В"There are some issues on which discrepancies remain. From time to time we set forth, how we see the way”, Merzlyukov stressed.

The Russian co-chair thinks the inner political agenda is too overloaded in both countries, therefore the next visit to the region will take place in mid-December.

Next day Novruz Mammadov, the head of the Foreign Relations Department under the Azerbaijani President’s Administration, commented on the statement by Russian Ambassador.

According to Mammadov, though Armenia will hold referendum and Azerbaijan parliamentary elections in November, the situation in these countries cannot be compared. Azerbaijan states on absence of any problems or obstacles for the meeting of the Foreign Ministers with the Minsk Group co-chairs, as well as the mediators’ visit to the region late this year.

Mammadov found difficult to comment on the statement by Merzlyakov, who announced on the development of proposals concerning the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Over the past period, in particular, in summer period, the peace talks have become intensive. We note the positive milestones linked with the resolution of the conflict, whilst it does not mean enough proximity in the positions of the sides. I guess the co-chairs want to submit to the heads of states proposals developed on the base of such milestones,” he said.

The Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister (FM) Elmar Mammadyarov met on 1 November with the delegation headed by the deputy chairman of the PACE committee on legal and human rights issues Eduard Lintner. Speaking on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorny Karabakh the head of the Azerbaijan’s Foreign Policy department stressed, the solving of the problem is only possible based on the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. At the same time Mammadyarov noted the Prague negotiation process embodies the ways for the conflict settlement, the FM press centre told Trend.

В"At first all occupied areas around Nagorny Karabakh must be liberated followed by discussion of other components, including returning of refugees and IDPs to their homes, reinstatement of all transport and communications lines in the region. All these, according to the head of the Azerbaijan’s FM will set up “favorable environment” for determining the Nagorny Karabakh legal status.

Lintner, in his turn, told on the situation in Germany formed at the result of September elections in the country.

Parliamentary elections

Elections to the Milli Majlis [Azerbaijani parliament] started in Baku on Sunday. At 8:00am [local time] over 5,000 polling stations opened at 125 constituency elections throughout the country, Trend reports.

1541 candidates ballot for 125 seats at the parliament, including representatives from 47 political parties and blocs, a well as independent electors. The largest group of candidates was nominated from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and Azadlyg elections bloc, the biggest opposition alliance.

In compliance with the Elections Code of Azerbaijan the elections will be regarded as successful in any rate of attendance.

“Every data received by the Central Election Committee (CEC) on violations during the voting will be scrutinized,” Mazahir Panahov, the chairman of the CEC, said to journalists on Sunday, Trend reports.

According to Panahov, in case of data on violation the representatives of the CEC went to stations and participated in clarification of situations. He said that it was natural that there were concerns in different election stations. “In accordance with the Law, we must scrutinize them and be loyal to the Law. I think that we must demonstrate such position to the public and so on. We must scrutinize literally every case and take measures in accordance with the legislation,” he noted.

Panahov stressed that the activeness expected by the CEC in the rural places proved with preliminary results of the elections. Besides, the same activeness was observed in some town constituencies. It was related to the great number of candidates to deputies.

It should be mentioned that in accordance with the last data of the CEC, the number of the citizens voted in the elections comprised 46.83% or 2,183,913.

“20% of the expected results of inquiry were sent to the Information Center of PA Consulting as of 14.00,” Thomas White, Vice President of the company, told journalists.

He noted that the inquiry was being held by 3,000 representatives of the company in half constituencies of Azerbaijan. 80 operators, including 30 directly placed in the Information Center of PA Consulting receive information on results of polls in an on-line regime. Then the data are confirmed through fax. However, only after 18:00am [local time] the concrete results of the inquiry will be announced.

White noted that the falsification of the results of inquiry in favor of only one candidate is impossible, because only people residing in the territory of the station were involved in exit-poll. In reply to question on the process and results of exit-poll, held in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, White said that the inquiry is held in 4 constituencies, while no serious violation has been fixed thus far.

A group of international observers for the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan held on 6 November noted their high level. It has been told at the news conference on 7 November held by the analysts of the American Democratic Centre and the London Democratic Institute, Trend reports.

The above-mentioned centre held monitoring in 6 constituencies (Yasamal, Sabunchi, Azizbekov, Surahani, Narimanov and Khatai. The head of the strategic researches department of the American International Association Doctor Vudanski noted, the “elections were democratic in Azerbaijan, like in other countries, and there is no doubt, that they were by 100% open.

The analyst of the American Democratic Institute Radishevski noted, the elections in Azerbaijan had been held in line with the world standards. “On the results of the monitoring held by us, we may say, the elections were transparent despite slight violations’.

The analyst of the London International Institute of Democracy noted unbiased and transparent holding of elections.

The parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan do not meet the commitments of Azerbaijan to international institutions and do not meet the democratic standards, president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Elsy Gastings told the news conference on 7 November in Baku, Trend reports.

He noted, despite the positive processes marked during the pre-election campaign, it had not enabled to hold transparent, free and democratic elections. ”Despite the fact that the voting passed in a quiet atmosphere, the situation aggravated while the counting of votes. Especially it was observed in the evening of 6 November by the closing of the polling stations, Gastings noted.

He also noted, the decision on use of the marking ink on the elections day had been taken too late. В"The decision had been taken only two weeks before the elections. At the same time, inking at some polling stations did not take place altogether”, the PA OSCE chairman said, noting that unbalanced involvement of political parties representatives in electoral committees caused also problems.

В"Balancing of the electoral committees composition could have helped to solve many problems on the voting day”, Gastings said. He noted, this statement is based on observations of 665 watchdogs from 42 countries.

Observers of the European Parliament assessed positively the voting process, the head of the European Parliament short-term observation mission Maria Anna Ishler Begium told the news conference on 7 November in Baku, Trend reports.

“In accordance with the results of the 6 November voting, the members of the New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) is a leader among the parties won in the parliamentary elections.” Igbal Babayev, the head of �Elections’ Information Center of the Central Election Committee (CEC), told Trend.

In accordance with information as of 15.30pm, the first place belongs to the NAP with 63 members, followed by independent candidates (41 people) and 3 candidates did not mention their party. Other winners are 4 candidates from Musavat, 2 - the Civil Solidarity Party and the Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party, per 1 - Umid Party, the Social Welfare Party, the Democratic Reforms Party, the Great Establishment, the Popular Front of United Azerbaijan.

The Central Election Committee (CEC) registered 1291 international observers, arrived in Azerbaijan to follow the parliamentary elections on 6 November.

Namely, 663 observers represent the OSCE/ODHIR, 1 - the Council of Europe, 51 - the PACE, 360 вЂ" the CIS, 3 - CIS Parliamentary Assembly.

Up to 260 foreign correspondents, representing 80 media have been also registered. About 17,000 local observers have been registered at CEC, and at the constituency committees вЂ" around 40,000 persons.

On 4 November Natik Mammadov, the Secretary of the CEC, also stated that the commission received appeals from a few Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian nationality, who were registered at Khankandi Constituency N122.

State building

The Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan Zakir Garalov met on 1 November with the deputy chairman of the committee on legal and human rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Eduard Lintner and the deputy of the German Bundestag Verner Muench, the prosecutor’s office press service told Trend.

The main subject of the meeting was elections to Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan. Garalov noted the authorities established conditions for democratic and transparent elections. He also informed of the measures carried out by the prosecutor’s office in this respect.

Lintner assessed positively measures on democratic elections as next moves for development of democracy in Azerbaijan.

The same day Safar Abiyev, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister, received a delegation headed by the Defense Minister of Bahrain, Lieut-General Sheik Khalifa ben Ahmet al-Khalifa. He informed the eminent guest on the current state of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, geo-strategic position and economic development of Azerbaijan. “The economy of the country gets strengthened year by year. It also testifies for the consolidation of the armed forces of the country.

In his turn al-Khalifa stated that the justice is on Azerbaijan’s side. Bahrain is ready to render comprehensive assistance to Azerbaijan. I will put every efforts for the commencement of the Bahrain-Azerbaijan military cooperation,’” Bahrain’s Minister underlined

On 3 November Azeri Interior Minister Ramil Usubov received the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Reno Harnish. The key objective of the meeting was to discuss the commitments set for the police during the pre-elections campaign for preservation of the pubic order. The Minister said that the police has shifted to the intensified regime since 15 October

The diplomat said that the United States appreciated efforts by the Azerbaijani President for ensuring rights and freedom, as well as steps taken for the improvement of the elections1 practice.

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