Parliament to amend law on political parties

By Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan's Parliamentary Committee on public associations and religious structures is drafting amendments to the law "On political parties."

Siyavush Novruzov, the chairman of the committee, said that such a decision was taken to ensure the transparency.

Addressing the plenary session on February 1, he said that under the amendments, Azerbaijan's political parties financed and not financed from the state budget should submit a report on their activities.

"But, unfortunately, several parties do not submit a report on their activities," he added.

Currently, over 40 political parties operate in Azerbaijan.

In turn, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Press Council, MP Aflatun Amashov highlighted problems of the country's print media arisen after the devaluation of the national currency.

He proposed to abolish VAT on imports of newsprint papers and printing editions.

"After the devaluation [of the manat], the price of the newsprint paper has increased by 100 percent, and the expenditures on printing - by 50 percent. It is necessary to include the question of abolition of VAT on printing products in the agenda," Amashov noted.

He also stressed the importance of adopting the law "On defamation".

“Journalists should not be arrested for written material. This concern is understandable, because various materials are published in the press. But in fact no one in the country is brought to responsibility for defamation (article 147) and insult (article 148 of the Criminal Code). Therefore, the Press Council has prepared specific proposals in this regard, that have passed the examination of the OSCE Office in Baku," the MP added.

Later MP Azay Guliyev addressed the session, noting that law "On public control" has been submitted to the discussion of the parliament.

"In his speech at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers President Ilham Aliyev has given instructions for the implementation of social control and stressed its importance," he noted.

The MP said that it is necessary to improve the mechanism of interaction between the bodies of the executive power and the society.

"This mechanism should be sufficiently clear and understandable, activities of state agencies should be organized at the highest level, and other mechanisms should be involved as well. Therefore, I am sure that we will be able to provide more optimal version of the bill after its discussion," Guliyev said.

The plenary session of the parliament also approved the new composition of the Disciplinary and Accounting commissions.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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