On the basis of the current election legislation and established practice over the past decades, holding free, fair and democratic elections in Azerbaijan is impossible reads the statement by the Public Council of Talysh of Azerbaijan (OSTA) in connection with the upcoming February 9, 2020 extraordinary parliamentary elections in the country.
Thus, the central, district, and precinct election commissions responsible for conducting elections are under the control of the ruling party.
In this regard, the OSTA considers it necessary to reorganize the election commissions, and in particular, change their composition, ensure objectivity and transparency.
The authors point out the vicious practice of interventions in the field of executive bodies and other structures, as well as the lack of an effective legislative mechanism to ensure the holding of free and fair elections.
At the same time, election fraud remains unpunished.
In this regard, the authors of the statement consider it necessary, before conducting the elections, to create at the legislative level an effective mechanism to suppress interference in the election process of executive authorities and the police.
The OSTA notes that if the conditions free and democratic elections are created, this structure has the potential to nominate candidates and successfully participate in the election process.
However, in conditions of not eliminating the factors hindering the democratic elections, maintaining the electoral law and practice at the existing level, the OSTA considers participation in the “elections pointless” and “inappropriate loss of time”.
“At the same time, some recent reforms in the field of public administration give rise to hope for positive changes in the field of electoral policy,” the statement said.
OSTA declares that if the above deficiencies are eliminated, the organization will participate in the February 9 elections.
Otherwise, the OSTA will regard the unequal opportunities for the fight for deputy mandates as “another falsification” and will refuse to participate in the elections.
OSTA was established on December 7 by a group of representatives of the Talysh intelligentsia and civil society of Azerbaijan.