13 Feb, 2020

Musavat highlight violations in call to annul Azeri election result

Musavat, ALDE member party in Azerbaijan, have called for the results of the recent early parliamentary elections to be annulled on the grounds that the election was held in the absence of a democratic election environment, an appropriate legal framework and equal political competition.

A statement from the party continued that: “the reasons for the early elections were not clearly explained, and due to the fact that the elections were called early and were suddenly appointed, the political forces and the public could not prepare. Proposals by the opposition and international bodies on electoral reform were not discussed.”

Early parliamentary elections were held in Azerbaijan and according to estimates the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) of President Ilham Aliyev is on course to win a majority of seats in the country’s single-chamber parliament, with all the remaining seats won by pro-government parties and nominally independent candidates.

According to data provided by the Central Election Commission (CEC) based on voting protocols from almost all polling stations, YAP candidates have won 81 of the 125 available seats, which if confirmed, would represent an increase of 16 seats for the ruling party from the previous Parliament.

The CEC put the turnout at 47.81%, nearly eight percentage points less than in the previous parliamentary elections.

The joint observer mission from the OSCE / ODIHR, PACE and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly presented their report on the elections on 10 February and noted that: “the restrictive legislation and political environment prevented genuine competition in the 9 February 2020 early parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, despite a high number of candidates.”

Some prospective candidates were denied the right to stand, but candidate registration process was otherwise inclusive. Voters were not provided with a meaningful choice due to a lack of real political discussion,” it reads.

Instances of pressure on voters, candidates and their representatives were observed,” it continued. “Significant procedural violations during counting and the tabulation raised concerns whether the results were established honestly.” (Click here to read the full report, pdf)

In their statement, Musavat have called for the election results to be annulled, for real political reforms in the country to be implemented and for new elections to be held after upgrading the Electoral Code to take into account the proposals of the opposition and international organisations to guarantee conditions for equal political competition and create pre-election democratic conditions. The party also calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Campaigning under the slogan "Change the future with your voice", Musavat, fielded candidates in the early parliamentary elections on Sunday 9 February but already faced numerous challenges during the campaign. They believe the number of districts where the candidates from Musavat were registered was deliberately limited so that the party could not gain access to the national television channel.

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