TODAY.AZ / Politics

Rasim Musabeyov: "Considering weakness of the opposition and lack of unity among its representatives, possible transformation of boycott of elections into a campaign of civil unrest is ruled out"

03 June 2008 [13:02] - TODAY.AZ
Day.Az interview with famous political scientist Rasim Musabeyov.
- How would you comment on the recent amendments and alterations to the Electoral Code? Is it possible to conduct democratic elections with their help?

- I am not a specialist in the sphere of electoral legislation and it is hard to comment on these amendments unambiguously. Yet opposition deputies and politicians criticize them and do not consider that these amendments would promote democratic elections.

As far as I can judge from mass medias, their arguments are quite substantiated. On the whole, I consider that the problems with ensuring human rights and liberties and democratic elections in Azerbaijan is rather connected with the use of law.

Representatives of the powers violate existing law and adhere to instructions of the higher bodies. Normal elections are possible both under the previously working electoral law and following introduction of amendments to it, if there is will of the head of state. Otherwise, our officials due to their clumsy efforts and seeking for promotion will act as previously and compromise our state.

- In current conditions, opposition representatives have split into two parts - some deciding to participate in the presidential elections, others using the tactics of boycott. Who has greater chances to attain political success?

- It depends on what is implied by "political success", If victory in the elections is implied, the success will not be attained by any of them. Yet, if the purpose is to set the society in motion and attach real competitiveness to elections to promote comparison of arguments, programs, that is a real political process, it can be attained only via participation in the elections, but not by means of boycott.

- It is considered in the world policy that boycotts often influrnce the world policy. What do you think is the main point of the boycott by the Azadlyg bloc?

- The world policy does not consider boycotss to be productive and effective means of political struggle. On the contrary, therefore envoys of various international organizations and friendly countries recommend to avoid boycotts and participate in all election campaigns.

Under the working legislation, boycott is completely senseless. First, the elections does not have a quorum, which would allow breaking boycotts. Second, legislation bans active boycotts, specifying it as an obstacle to the will expression by voters. Considering weakness of the opposition and lack of unity among its representatives, possible transformation of boycott of elections into a campaign of civil unrest is ruled out

In these conditions boycott turns into a banal non-participation in the elections, which can not be transformed into a rational political tactics.

- How do you assess chances of opposition candidates, who decided to participate in the presidential elections?

- In conditions of our country it is too difficult to give objective assessment to the electorate potential of each of the possible candidates. But, basing on the data of the recent public poll, held under my supervision, I can say that Musavat leader Isa Qambar has higher rating with respect to other opposition candidates. This party has a head office in Baku and in many regions of the country, it preserved a branchy organization structure and it is supported by Yeni Musavat newspaper, which is popular enough.

Isa Qambar is well known in the country and at the elections of 2003 he gave a good run to working president Ilham Aliyev. But his current support is also insignificant and position is losing. The situation may change in case opposition takes part in the elections with a single candidate, especially if a new, bot not famous person, is nominated.

It should be noted that usually opposition candidates delivered speeches at the television and held mass actions to mobilize protest electorate, raising their support among the population by several times higher, as compared with public polls.

In other words, opposition should moderate the ambitions of the leaders and join efforts. Only in this case it will made a good run to working President Ilham Aliyev even if it fails to win. But, considering the nature of our opposition, it is hard to believe it.

- Who do the Azerbaijani people trust in the politics?

- If we take into account the data of polls, our people trusts to few political leaders, state and public institutions. The leaders of polls are working head of state, army and mass media. The rest are more distrusted.

On the whole, the answer can be as follows: people trust more to those, who understands their expectations, can clearly formulate them and, the most important, fix promises by definite actions.

- What will happen to the opposition following the presidential elections?

- Old opposition slowly gives up its positions. The said tendency will hardly change following the upcoming presidential elections, but if we really see Azerbaijan among the family of European peoples, there is no option to democracy. Effective democracy is impossible without opposition.

Sooner or later a new modern opposition with great resources will absorb the residual traditional opposition. But currently it is possible only to guess what will happen.


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