TODAY.AZ / Politics

Opposition cites West's "double standard" on Azerbaijan

24 March 2006 [11:45] - TODAY.AZ
The opposition has accused the West of a “double standard” against Azerbaijan.

"The fact they issued divergent responses to the presidential elections in Belarus and Azeri November 2005 parliamentary elections indicates that the West is exercising a double standard approach on the democratic development in Azerbaijan," the major opposition Azadlig bloc said in a statement on Thursday.

The election in tightly-controlled Belarus was criticized by many international observers, AssA-Irada informs.

"Unfortunately, we didn't witness the West's position of principle observed in Belarus during the Azeri poll," the statement says.

Ali Karimli, chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) included in Azadlig, said the United States and the European Union gave a harsh reaction to electoral fraud in Belarus, refusing to recognize the results of the poll.

"The West was speaking of sanctions against the incumbent authorities of Belarus. Unfortunately, such a position was not taken against the Azerbaijani authorities which falsified the parliamentary elections," he stated.

The PFPA chair maintained that although the Azerbaijani opposition was better prepared than their Belarusian counterparts and the country's authorities "used more regressive methods than the Belarusian government", the West had failed to either take this into account or support democratic development in the country.

As for the reasons for such "double standards", Karimli declined comment, saying this should be rather addressed by political analysts.

The Azadlig bloc also sent a letter to the Belarusian opposition leader Aleksandr Milikevich expressing its support.

Besides PFPA, the Azadlig bloc comprises the National Unity Movement, the Azerbaijan Democratic Party and the Party for National Independence wing led by Ali Aliyev.


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