TODAY.AZ / Politics

Bahar Muradova: "Azerbaijan has taken into account some of recommendations of international organizations, but normal elections can be held even without them"

31 May 2008 [09:37] - TODAY.AZ
Day.Az interview with Bahar Muradova, vice-speaker of Milli Medjlis, deputy executive secretary of Yeni Azerbaijan party.
- How much have the recommendations of international organizations been taken into account while preparing the amended Electoral Code of Azerbaijan?

- We have previously said and have not made a secret from it that not all of 70 presented proposals, which are both recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and proposals of various public associations of Azerbaijan, were reflected in the document, and it is natural.

The amendments which will promote transparency of the electoral process and help facilitate it and create better conditions for citizens' expression of will, were all fixed in the document. I suppose that definite views on this issue will be voiced during the discussion of amendments in the parliament.

- And what about the adopted amendments to the law "On freedom of assembly? Some people blame the law-makers with preparing of only technical amendments.

- The draft amendments was also discussed with the representatives of the Venice Commission and they expressed their expert opinion on this document. That means the CE experts were  aware of these amendments from the beginning and their opinion, I think, was normal, which was reflected in their expert judgment.
So, there is nothing secret in it, the draft amendments was developed in cooperation with the experts of the Venice Commission and recognized admissible for inclusion into the draft law.

- Do you think all these amendments will ensure open and fair presidential elections?

- I would like to say that it would be possible to hold fair elections even without amendments to the law. The most important is a will. And as to the conditions for their conduction, we demonstrated at the previous elections that fair elections in Azerbaijan are possible if people are willing to use their rights.

- Elections in Armenia were accompanied by mass violations and unprecedented violence was used against the protestors following them. Will Azerbaijan be able to evade Armenia's mistakes and will the elections here serve an example for the regional countries?

- Armenia has not yet taken any lesson from the most perfect actions of the world society, therefore, we do not want to demonstrate anything to Armenia by conducting elections or any other actions. This is the way Azerbaijan has chosen and which we follow with confidence by using all opportunities to fulfill the tasks set.

In this connection, democratic elections is a will of the Azerbaijani people. We will demonstrate this will and want everyone to build their activity in the framework of the law in this electoral process. If someone goes beyond these frames, he will be brought to responsibility in line with the law. 


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