Azerbaijan’s Government to Encourage Active Voting by Believers at Presidential Elections
Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 March / Trend corr E. Huseynli/ The Azerbaijan State Committee for Work with Religious Associations held a workshop '2008 - Believers as Electors' in order to increase the number of the believers to attend the presidential elections.
"The key purpose is to encourage the active participation of the believers in the voting, as well as educating them in this field," the Chair of the State Committee Hidayat Orujev said at the workshop on 7 March.
Azerbaijan will be holding the presidential elections in October. There are 458 religious communities registered in Azerbaijan, 31 of them being non-Islamic.
According to Orujev, during the elections there will always be certain forces trying to use the religious factor for their own purposes. Therefore, special attention should be paid to religious and election relations in the state-religion system, the present active legislation should be re-considered and an exchange of views should be held on the issues which require clarification.
As all citizens have the right to vote, believers should participate in this important process, the Chair of the Azerbaijan Central Election Committee (CEC) Mazahir Panahov said at the event.
"All citizens, regardless of their position, religion and political views, should take an active part in the voting in order to ensure that the elections are democratic. Religious communities should be active," Panahov said.