(OSCE) - The overall conduct of the 13 May 2006 partial repeat parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan underscores the continuing need for electoral reform, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights says in a newly released report.
Last month's limited OSCE/ODIHR mission, led by Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens, concluded that while the 13 May partial repeat elections reflected some improvements, the process highlighted the continued need for reform. The mission observed the repeat elections held in 10 out of a total of 125 constituencies, reports Trend.
The 13-member mission noted an inclusive candidate registration, a largely unimpeded campaign and increased opportunities for participation of domestic observers. However, it also observed several issues of continued concern, including the composition of election commissions, instances of interference by local authorities in the election process, de-registration of candidates, and the handling of complaints and appeals by election commissions and courts. The mission did not observe the election day process comprehensively.
In a welcome development that increased transparency, the Central Election Commission posted preliminary results broken down by polling station on its website on the morning after election day.
In its earlier assessment of the November 2005 parliamentary elections, the OSCE/ODIHR stated that those elections did not meet a number of OSCE commitments and other international standards. It noted that the invalidation of election results in 10 out of 125 constituencies was not conducted in a transparent manner.
The observation of the partial repeat elections is published as an annex to the OSCE/ODIHR final report of the parliamentary elections, which was issued in February 2006. Links to the report and the annex are listed to the right.
The OSCE/ODIHR remains ready to support the efforts of the authorities and civil society of the Republic of Azerbaijan to conduct elections in line with OSCE commitments, especially with regard to previous recommendations which remain to be addressed.