Envoy of Venice Commission: Amendments were Made to Azerbaijan’s Electoral Code

Envoy of  Venice Commission: Amendments were Made to   Azerbaijan’s Electoral Code

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend A.Ismaylova / An agreement was reached on several amendments to the Electoral Code of Azerbaijan at the meeting of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission, OSCE and IREX which began in Baku on 12 April, said the representative of the Elections Department of the Venice Commission, Sergey Kuznetsov.

A decision was made at the meeting to include in the Code the article on marking fingers with ink during elections to show who has voted already, but this rule had already been applied during 2005 parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan according to the order of the Country's President. In addition, agreements were reached on several aspects of inconformity between the articles of the Electoral Code, which led to addressing the order in polling stations, Mr. Kuznetsov said. He stressed that special attention was paid at the meeting to the complaints about decisions on the election process and a number of agreements were reached. The meeting's participants did not discuss the issue of form election commissions, but it will be discussed in the near future.

The representative of the Venice Commission stated that after each election in Azerbaijan, many voters are dissatisfied with the system to deal with their complaints does not suffice. "Our proposals include that all guarantees of the fair election process should be followed while considering the complaints. In order not to delay this process, it should be clear where the elector or candidate should appeal. Everything should be clear," Mr. Kuznetsov said.

The active Electoral Code of Azerbaijan states that complaints should be considered by the upper election commissions and courts. The representatives of the Venice Commission suggest that the legislation should maximize voters' confidence in the election process. Mr. Kuznetsov considers that some aspects of the law may be redefined more concretely so the people will have no doubts regarding conformity of the election process with the law and that they'll have an opportunity to appeal to the authorized bodies and achieve a fair solution soon if he/she considers that his/her rights have been violated. "Many problems in the election should be resolved rapidly" he said.

Touching on the composition of the election commissions, Mr. Kuznetsov voiced his hope that the Power of Azerbaijan will take into consideration that the election commissions are a significant part of this process and they should be formed through ways which are trusted by those who participate in the election process.

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