WEEKLY POLITICAL REVIEW
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received on 18 November a special representative of the NATO Secretary General in South Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons. During the talk Simmons said, he would take part in the вЂњSalogluвЂќ project opening ceremony implemented by the Azerbaijan National Agency on Mine Action (ANAMA) in Agstafa district.
According to the NATO Secretary General special representative, the mine вЂ"cleaning of the areas and from unexploded ammunition will start shortly, noting, the project is important in developing cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan.
The head of the AzerbaijanвЂ™s state also ascertained the projectвЂ™s significance, underlying successful steps aimed at implementing of the Individual Partnership Plan of Azerbaijan and NATO. Ilham Aliyev voiced confidence that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the alliance will steadily develop.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree on Monday to discharge Vagif Rahimov from the post of head of the Zagatala District Executive Power, Trend reports.
Rahimov was dismissed in connection with the non-implementation of the presidential decrees on preparations for the presidential elections, dated 11 May and 25 October 2005, as well as interference to a process of calculation of the votes on 6 November poll
вЂњNATO is satisfied with the level of the cooperation between the alliance and Azerbaijan,вЂќ Robert Simmons, the Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General on Central Asia and the South Caucasus, said to a news conference on the results of the negotiations with Azzerbaijan on Friday, Trend reports.
Simmons noted that the work on drawing of the plan on individual partnership with NATO was successfully carried out within the cooperation. He voiced hope that the first report on the work in this sphere would be presented in March 2005. The Special Representative also expressed satisfaction with the negotiations held with Azerbaijan. According to Simmons, the alliance supports comprehensive cooperation with Azerbaijan. The organization is ready to render technical aid to the country in reforming of defense sphere, particularly, conducting of structural changes, and effective expenditure of the budget of the Defense Ministry.
Touching upon the results of the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, Simmons stressed that the NATO welcomed the steps taken by the Azerbaijani government to liquidate violations.
He gave positive appreciation to the increase of the budget of the Defense Ministry. In his opinion, it is related to the increase of the public budget and can not impact on the peaceful process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The government of Azerbaijan an NATO will sign in the current December the project on neutralization of the rocket fuel which remained in Azerbaijan after the breakdown of the USSR, the Vice Premier of the AzerbaijanвЂ™s government Abid Sharifov told journalists, Trend reports.
According to him, the project will be implemented in the framework of the вЂњPartnership for PeaceвЂ™ NATO program and the AzerbaijanвЂ™s government partner will be the Organization on Logistic Supply. Preliminary arrangement on the project has been reached, the Vice Premier noted. According to him, the fuel is on Mingechavir area and in Alyat.
Sharifov assessed highly the level of cooperation between the government and NATO and voiced hope on continuation of the fruitful cooperation with the donor states in this field.
The UNESCO Good Will Ambassador, first ledy Mehriban Aliyeva, held some meetings with officials of the ortganization in Paris within the 60th anniversary of the UNESCO.
Eleonora Husseynova, the Azerbaijani representative at the UNESCO, told Trend Aliyeva held short-term meetings with Koishiro Matsuura, the Director General of the UNESCO, high-rank representatives of the countries participated in the jubilee celebrations, particularly, the French Foreign Minister, the chairman of the Senegalese Popular Meeting and former Directors General of the UNESCO, as well as the Ukrainian President. The sides focused on the Azerbaijani realities.
A newly appointed Foreign Minister (FM) of Georgia Gela Beshuashvili will pay his first visit to Azerbaijan as minister, the Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zurab Gumberidze told Trend exclusively.
According to him, the visit will be of familiarization character and be performed during two months. The head of the Georgian FM will hold bilateral meetings with the officials of Azerbaijan and discuss the perspectives of the two countryвЂ™s cooperation. The sides will set to the visitвЂ™s preparations shortly, the Ambassador said.
Azerbaijani FM Elmar Mammadyarov discussed the prospects for cooperation with the EU officials in Brussels on 16-17 November. He met with Michel Lee, the General Director of EU Ministerial Committee on foreign relationships and military-political issues, Robert Kuper, the Deputy Director of the General Directorate of the European Commission on foreign relationships and Heikki Talvitie, the special representative of the EU on the South Caucasus.
Mammadyarov took part and spoke at the 115-th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Within the forum the Minister met with the CE Secretary General Terry Davis, the Director of the CE Parliamentary Assembly Secretariat Mateo Sorinas and the PACE Secretary General Bruno Haller. At the meetings the organizationвЂ™s officials voiced their readiness to assist in implementation of Action plans for Azerbaijan within the European Union вЂњNew Neighborhood PolicyвЂќ initiative. At the meetings with Haller and Sorinas results of the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, activities of the PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteurs have been viewed.
There were also discussions with the chairman of the Euro-Parliament вЂ"Azerbaijan cooperation committee Ishler-Begua and other officials, the Ukrainian FM head Tarasyuk, the state secretary of Hungary Barsoni, FM deputy of Norway Skogrand, the AGO group chairman Vegener and other.
A next meeting of the working group on Caspian status has been scheduled for 23-24 November 2005, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend.
The working group will meet in Astana, Kazakhstan, at the resolution taken during the last gathering staged in Baku.
Currently the coordination of the agenda is underway, the Foreign Ministry noted. The sides are to continue work over the draft Convention and consider an issue on conduct of the next summit of the leaders of the Caspian littoral countries.
вЂњWe believe that Azerbaijan will be in power to stand pressure of international organizations, which call on the country to refuse cooperation with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),вЂќ Mustafa Evran, the representative of the TRNC in Azerbaijan, said to an event dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of the TRNC, Trend reports.
He noted that in accordance with the results of the referendum held in 2004, northern Cypriotes supported the proposals of the UN on establishment of the confederation, while the rest part of the islanders voted against it. Evran also stressed that the international organizations attempted to raise the blockade of the northern part. вЂњIt is unfair to exert pressure on Azerbaijan taking the first steps in this direction,вЂќ he added.
Nizamy Jafarov, the chairman of the Ataturk Center in Azerbaijan, stated that basing on historical and cultural closeness, Azerbaijan would establish friendly relations with the Northern Cyprus hence.
A meeting of the commission on delimitation of the state border between Azerbaijan and Georgia will be held in the late this November or early December.
Earlier scheduled for late December it can be held either late this month [November] or early December depending on the busy schedule of the chairmen of the commission. The commission is to resolve problems linked with different sections, as well as changes in course, the diplomat added.
вЂњUkrainian President Victor Yuschenko is probable to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan after a meeting of the Azerbaijani-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission, which is approximately scheduled for December 2005,вЂќ Igor Kizima, the charge dвЂ™affaires of Ukraine in Azerbaijan, said.
According to Kizima, a meeting of the commission was delayed due to replacement in the in the senior management of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The co-chair of the commission should be appointed on parity basis (head of the commission from Azerbaijan is the first deputy premier. Later a new composition of the commission will be defined and the sides will accord the date f the gathering.
NATO is not a party to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, and, respectively, the decision for the NATO peace-keeping forces deployment on the frontline depends on the mutual consent of the both sides, the NATO Secretary GeneralвЂ™s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons said in a statement on 18 November in Baku, Trend reports.
The issue has not been discussed during his meetings with the official Baku. вЂњWe follow closely the peaceful process progress within the OSCE Minsk Group an hope for the positive advancement the next yearвЂќ, he stated.
The cesae-fire regime on the front-line have been breached again on 15 November 2005, the press service of the AzerbaijanвЂ™s Defense Minisrtry told Trend.
From 17.44 p.m. till 17.54 p.m. the units of the Armenian militaries from the positions located 1 km to the south-west from the occupied Omar mountain on the territory of Hanlar district fired by machine-guns the positions of the AzerbaijanвЂ™s Armed Forces located opposite.
The cease-fire regime has been breached on the front-line on 18 November, the press service of the AzerbaijanвЂ™s Defense Ministry told Trend.
From 13.25 p.m. till 13.45 p.m. the units of the Armenian armed forces fired from machine-guns and submachine-guns from the positions located 3,7 km to the south-west of the Borsunlu village, Terter district the positions of the Azerbaijani army, located opposite
The enemy has been suppressed by the return fire. No losses reported.
On 12 November the Central Elections Commission (CEC) annulled the results of votes on 19 poling stations of the Zagatala Constituncy 110. In general, the results of votes in the constituency were announced as invalid.
The meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC) was held on Tuesday. The CEC discussed the results of the elections at Nizamy 2nd constituency 38 of Ganja town, Trend reports.
Ramiz Ibrahimov, a member of the CEC, noted that violations were registered at the election stations 2,4,7,8,9,14,16,17,21,22 and 24. According to Ibrahimov, the checking-up revealed that fingers of electors were not inked and there were violations at counting of votes.
The CEC canceled the results of the elections at Nizamy 2nd constituency 38 of Ganja town in this regard.
At the Washington вЂњNixonвЂќ centre debates on the results of the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan took place. The researcher of the вЂњHeritageвЂќ foundation Ariel Cohen, expert of the вЂњJamestownвЂќ foundation Vladimir Sokor, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the USA Hafiz Pashayev, director on Europe and Asia of the US National Security Council David Merkel, speaking during discussions analyzed the elections results noting the role of the 6 November voting in the US geo-strategic plans in the Caspian region, Trend reports.
Director on international security and energy programs of the вЂњNixonвЂќ centre Zeyno Baran called the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan in her opening speech вЂ�advancementвЂ™, noting the facts of the violations of the legislation, recorded by the international observers, have been disclosed and suppressed thanks to the timely directives by President Ilham Aliyev.
The researcher Ariel Cohen, who took a direct part in the voting monitoring underlined, in his turn, the recorded facts of violations were not scaled, which means, they could not have affected the elections results.
The expert Vladimir Sokor noted, the staff changes are needed in the AzerbaijanвЂ™s government in order вЂњto remove groupings inside the governmentвЂќ.
Mandates for the newly elected delegates to the Milli Mejlis (MM) will be issued in late November, the MM press service told Trend.
It has bee noted, that before the mandates to new deputies are issued, the Central Election Committee (CEC) of Azerbaijan is to produce documents on the 6 November 2005 parliamentary electionsвЂ™ results to the Constitutional Court. After the approval by the Constitutional Court the res lts during 10 days, the process of the mandates issuing to the deputies will be conducted by CEC.
The first session of MM of the third convocation is supposed in late November.
The вЂ�For Free and Fair ElectionsвЂ™ coordinating consultative council addressed to the Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, the Central Election Committee (CEC), the local representations of the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other international organizations, embassies and heads of political parties. The address was voiced during a news conference at the International Press Club on Friday, Trend reports.
The document includes concrete violations, falsifications in different constituencies during the 6 November parliamentary elections. The authors of the address also wrote that the CEC does not consider complaints in time.
The address says that though opposition candidates gained largest number of votes in Binagadi 2nd constituency 9, Garadagh-Binagadi-Yasamal constituency 12, Yasamal 1st constituency 15, Sumgayit 2nd constituency 42, Zagatala constituency 110, they were not announced winners. In their remarks, Mehriban Vazir from Garadagh-Binagadi-Yasamal constituency 12, Flora Karimova from Sumgayit 2nd constituency 42, Khuraman Vafa from Khachmaz town constituency 55, Rovshan Valiyev from Nizamy-Ganja constituency 38, Yagub Mammadov from Nasimi 2nd constituency 22, spoke about the vents taken place in their constituencies on the voting day. The candidates noted that the number of the votes gained by them was understated and other people were announced winners as a result of violations.
вЂњSeveral candidates to deputy, whose candidacy was nominated from Yasamal constituency 16, addressed to the Republic Prosecutor Office,вЂќ Akif Nagi, one of the candidates, told Trend.
The candidates reported on violations committed during the counting of votes in the constituency.
The candidates dissatisfied with the results of the elections required revealing and making answerable of chairmen and members of committees and other people participated in the falsification.
The candidates signed the address from Yasamal constituency 16 include Azad Karimov, Akif Nagi, Nadir Guliyev, Fakhraddin Babayev, Ilgar Nasibov, Yegana Musazada, Rauf Ibrahimov, Hagverdi Hagverdiyev.
Abel Maharramov, the head of the Baku State University, was announced winner.
The complaint of the single candidate to the deputy from the Azadlig bloc from the Binagady second constituency N9 Sardar Djalaloglu has been exmained on 16 November at the Supreme Court.
Earlier the results of the Binagadi second constituency N9 where Djajlaloglu was a candidtae had been cancelled by the Central Election Committee (CEC). Djalaloglu lodged a compalint to the Court of Appeal in this respect. However, the court has not answered to his claim. Thereafter the candidate appealed to the Supreme Court.
At the hearing under the chairmanship of the Supreme Court judge Rafik Mammadov the ruling of the Court of Appeal was left in force. Gurban Mammadov said, in this regard he will appeal to the Plenum of the Supreme Court. He noted, he may immediately appeal to the Constitutional Court. If the last local instance does not answer the claim, he will appeal to the European Court.
The opposition parties and elections blocs held a joint forum at Khatai Culture Palace on Wednesday. The participants of the event protested against the results of the parliamentary elections held on 6 November and violations on the voting day, Trend reports. They voiced demends to hold repeated parliamentary elections, ensure transparent and democratic organization of the elections.
Besides, the candidates to deputy balloted in the 6 November elections mentioned violations taken place at their stations and underlined importance of joint struggle. The leaders of вЂ�AzadligвЂ™ (Freedom) election bloc, Ali Karimli, Sardar Jalaloglu and Isa Gambar reported that they would continue mass actions to cancel the results of the elections and called on every discontented person to join them.
The rally held by the biggest opposition alliance Azadlyg [Freedom] last Saturday ended at 17:20pm [local time] with issue of a petition. The document envisages a demand for conduct of repeated action, release of arrested oppositionists, arrest of all falsifiers of the elections, transition from the presidential system of government to the parliamentary one.
Delivering the first remarks to the gathering Gurban Mammadov, a member of the political Board of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP), condemned the irregularities in the elections.
Isa Gambar, the leader of Msavat party, called on the authorities to resign and hold repeated parliamentary elections. Other speakers to the actions were Isgandar Hamidov, the chairman of the National Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, Mirmahmud Miraligolu, the chairman of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (classics), Ali Karimli, the head of the PFPA (reformers), Lala Shovkat, leaf rod National Unity Movement, and Sardar Jalaloglu, vice chairman of ADP.
According to Jalaloglu, around 50,000 people participated in the action, while the police which controlled over the demonstration, stated the protestors numbered some 7,000-10,000.
The next rally of the opposition is scheduled for 27 Monday [Sunday].
The вЂ�New PolicyвЂќ co-founder, president of the Public forum вЂ�In the name of AzerbaijanвЂ™ Eldar Namazov met on 15 November with the International Crisis Group analyst on South Caucasus Georgy Gogia, the New Policy alliance told Trend.
The results of the parliamentary elections on 6 November have been discussed mainly at the meeting. Namazov informed on violations of law at the Yasamal First constituency в"- 15, from where he ran for the elections.
В"The National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA) is dissatisfied with the activities of the New Policy (NP) bloc, which member it is, a member of the NP coordinating board, the NIPA chairman Ali Aliyev told Trend.
According to Aliyev, the issue was discussed at the partyвЂ™s political council. В"The alliance has built its pre-election activities on some shortcomings. Therefore, we could not achieve certain success at the elections. We came to the conclusion that reforms are to be made within the alliance. And we will make this proposal at the allianceвЂ™s coordinating boardвЂќ, Aliyev said.
The partyвЂ™s chairman noted also, that the issue of the NIPA leaving the bloc may be also discussed. вЂњBut the issue is not on the agenda so far,вЂќ he said.
The Democratic Azerbaijan election block suspended its activities, the chairman of the Azadlig party, on of the co-founders of the above-mentioned bloc, Ahmed Orudj told Trend.
Ahmed Orudj noted, the decision on it had been taken at the sitting of the blocвЂ™s chairman board. В"As the standpoint of the three parties вЂ" Azadlig, Adalat and the National Unity party - Single Azerbaijan, represented in one coalition did not coincide with the opinion of the Civil Solidarity Party we suspended our activities
The chairman of the Adalat party said also, that Azadlig, Adalat and the National Unity party- Single Azerbaijan may continue their activities with other structures. вЂњWe are waiting for the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the electionsвЂќ.
The вЂњPro-Azerbaijani ForcesвЂќ (PAF) will not take part in the initiative of the Azadlig bloc on holding new electionsвЂ™, the head of the central election headquarters of the вЂњPro-Azerbaijani ForcesвЂќ alliance Rovshan Ahmedli said.
PAF took such a decision at the sitting on 16 November. According to Ahmedli, PAF is a member of the Extraordinary Election Committee. В"It is not correct to link the fight of the candidates whose rights have been violated with the Azadlig blocвЂќ. If they want to fight, let them do it at our committeeвЂќ, Ahmedli said.
RAF will not take part in the march-rally on 19 November on the вЂњGalabaвЂ™ square. вЂњIndividual members of the bloc may participate in the processвЂќ, Ahmedli said.
On 19 November the Azerbaijani National Security Minister, Eldar Mahmudov. Met with the special representative of the NATO Secretary General, Robert Simmons.
Mahmudov informed Simmons that Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation was on progress and successful implementation of the activities under individual action plan.
вЂњFighting with the international terrorism is one of the priorities of the activities of the Ministry of National Security and it can be more effective through uniting the efforts of the international community,вЂќ the Minister underlined, emphasizing the necessity for further expansion of cooperation in this sphere.
Simmons appreciated the efforts of Azerbaijan in fighting with terror, active interaction with the NATO member-states, entering the anti-terror coalition, as well as work carried out for insuring international security.
No one will be allowed to take the power in Azerbaijan by force. The actions aimed at establishing chaos and permissiveness in the country will be resolutely suppressed, the AzerbaijanвЂ™s Interior Minister (IM) Ramil Usubv said in a statement on 18 November, Trend reports, citing the Space TV channel.
В"The public witnessed, that the Azerbaijani authorities permitted to hold actins in all regions of the country. It is absurd to say about any impediments to freedom of assemblies and speechвЂќ, the IM head noted, saying, there are destructive forces in the country, seeking to breach stability in Azerbaijan.
According to Yusubov, certain forces in the opposition try to create the atmosphere of discontent towards the authorities and the law enforcement bodies.
В"Рђzerbaijan does not need the destructive opposition. The society wants constructivism for the sake of the national goals. Ill-wishers from outside use this factor for discrediting the countyвЂ™s imageвЂќ, Usubov stressed, and they (opposition) do not understand, that by such actions they bring harm only to themselves.