Election in Azerbaijan fully reflects people’s will – PACE

Baku: The Azerbaijani government has sent an invitation to the PACE observation mission to monitor the electoral process. The mission consists of 28 people. The PACE observers visited polling stations in Baku and several districts of Azerbaijan, Jordi Xuclà, head of the PACE observation mission, told reporters in Baku on Monday.

According to him, the election in Azerbaijan was held in accordance with the Electoral Code.

“The necessary framework was created in order to hold democratic election. The voting process took place in accordance with international standards,” he said.

The CEC provided regular information to ensure the transparency of the election process, Xuclà said.

“The voting process was professionally and technically well organized,” Xuclà said. “The mission didn’t report any violence of the election code.”

He noted that no act of pressures on voters or any other incidents were observed.

There were no police around the polling station, he said.

Xuclà said 20 percent of the polling stations were equipped with cameras. There has been extensive media coverage of the election.

“Nevertheless, there have been flaws in ballot counting due to the inexperience of those working at the election commission. However, this factor did not affect the election result,” he said.

He expressed regret for the fact that the OSCE ODIHR and the OSCE PA has not sent observation missions to Azerbaijan.

“But there were numerous observers. There has been significant increase in the voter turnout. The election fully reflects the people’s will,” he added.

He also noted that problems associated with human rights still remain in Azerbaijan.

“We urge Azerbaijan to take urgent measures for the protection of human rights. The mission inspires Azerbaijan’s government to heed recommendations by the Venice Commission and those of the activities of democratic institutes. The mission emphasizes the importance of the opinions of other international organizations –the European Parliament, the OSCE PA, and the OSCE ODIHR. Because Azerbaijan is a country included in the Assembly’s monitoring procedure, the mission recommends the PACE continues cooperating with Azerbaijan’s government for the country to fulfill the duties and commitments agreed upon during its membership of the Council of Europe,” he said.

Asked if a statement he would make later might differ from the current, Xuclà said it would be too speculative, saying, “We have noted in our statement whatever we observed”.

He said he hopes there will be TV debates in future.


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