Voters in Azerbaijan have opportunity to evaluate and freely choose candidates for parliamentary elections

Voters in Azerbaijan have opportunity to evaluate and freely choose candidates for parliamentary elections

29 January 2020, 14:51 1520

The chairmen of political parties positively assess the election process so far

There is great public interest for the early parliamentary elections to be held in Azerbaijan February 9, which is shown by the number of registered candidates. At least 10 candidates are running for election in each of the 125 constituencies. An interesting point is that along with the independent candidates, members of the political parties also make up the majority in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Authorized representatives of 20 political parties, namely, the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), the Umid (Hope) Party, the Civic Solidarity Party of Azerbaijan, the Great Creation Party, the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, the National Revival Movement Party, the National Independence Party, the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, the Great Azerbaijan Party, the United Azerbaijan Party, Ana Veten (Motherland) Party, Takamul Party, Musavat Party, Azerbaijan Social Welfare Party, Vahdat Party, Party for Democratic Reforms, Azerbaijan Liberal Democratic Party, Azerbaijan Democratic Enlightenment Party, Modern Musavat Party and Citizen and Development Parties were registered.

Chairman of the Civic Solidarity Party, People's Poet Sabir Rustamkhanli told the Kaspi newspaper that so far no many citizens have been nominated freely as for this election. According to him, no serious violations have been reported in the nomination, registration and campaigning period that began on January 17. "Some obstacles were encountered during the registration or signature collection process or the registration of some political parties. Citizens in general are satisfied with the process so far. There are 14 candidates registered in our constituency election commission, and I am one of them. All of them applied on time, received a signature sheet and handed over. Today they are carrying out their campaign without any obstacles. Each candidate travels to the villages freely, meeting voters. From that point of view, my impression is very good. A total of 14 candidates from our party continue to fight. Every day I meet voters. Citizens are also happy that the process is so transparent and democratic. The potential of social media is widely used. Everyone shares their impressions and speaks openly about the meetings. There are also different opinions. Voters have the opportunity to evaluate and freely choose their candidates,” the party chairman said.

Chairman of the Great Creation Party, MP Fazil Mustafa said that no serious violations have been encountered since the start of the election process. He noted that each candidate can easily carry out their campaign. "There was no sign of any obstacle to our meeting with voters. I have never encountered such a thing. Everyone performs their duties freely and easily communicates with voters. I have no doubt that it will continue so. I don't expect any unpleasant surprises. I believe that the election will continue in a democratic, transparent manner. As many as 65 candidates were nominated from our party. Some of them could not be registered. Some of them realized their chances were low, and withdrew. In fact, 6 members of our party are registered and they continue to fight. For their part, the party did not receive any complaints about the process,” Mustafa added.

According to chairman of the National Revival Movement Party, MP Faraj Guliyev, the election process was normal. "As for the current election, all stages have been normal since the process began. Our party has participated in the election with 31 candidates. In the conversation with the OSCE representatives, I only commented that we had to withdrew our candidates from many constituencies, irrespective of the will of the Azerbaijani state and voters. When they asked why, I explained that we had nominated candidates from the areas of our IDPs and refugees. However, as refugees and IDPs are scattered in 60 districts of Azerbaijan, the registered candidate has no opportunity to meet with these voters and summarize the problems they face. I asked OSCE representatives to mention this in their reports: Armenian occupation policy also violates the rights of citizens elected in Azerbaijan. Members of the party from other constituencies successfully continue the campaign. We hope that the democratic elections will be held on February 9, and the people of Azerbaijan will express their will,” said the MP.

Chairman of the United Azerbaijan Party, Tural Abbasli, also said that the process so far has been completely normal. He said that 13 candidates were nominated by the party and 12 of them were registered. "There were no problems during the nomination process and the signature collection campaign. In general, there was no problem that would be considered a serious offense. The process has so far been normal and it is impossible to predict what will happen in the future. It is now a propaganda phase. Our candidates are campaigning in Aghjabadi, Kurdamir, Goychay, Nakhchivan, Baku and other regions. So far everything is going well and I appreciate the situation positively. I think the election process will be the same,” he noted.

As for the mass in the early parliamentary elections, the party's chairman believes that the participation of so many candidates is due to President Ilham Aliyev's speech. "The President of Azerbaijan has repeatedly emphasized that innovations, reforms and the process of rejuvenation will take place. Some of the citizens, inspired by these ideas, nominated their candidacy. There are only 460 candidates from 19 political parties. All other candidates nominated on their own initiative. This is a fully democratic election, and this can be considered an indicator of democracy,” Abbasli said.