By Rasana Gasimova
The Azerbaijani Interior Ministry has stated that no protester was injured during the unauthorized rally held on February 11 outside of the Central Election Commission’s building in Baku, following the snap parliamentary elections held in the country.
In a statement published on the ministry’s Facebook page on 11 February, the head of the ministry’s press service, Ehsan Zahidov, said that police officers stopped the unsanctioned rally by removing its participants from the venue of protest. Police also detained one of the protesters and his case is under investigation, Zahidov said.
The ministry official said that police was summoned to the venue of protest by the CEC (Central Election Committee) representatives who had been negotiating with the protesters for two hours – from 18:00 to 20:00 - but failed to reach an agreement.
“Police officers demanded that the unsanctioned rally be stopped. But the protesters ignored the warnings of the police and sought to continue actions aimed at disrupting public order,” the ministry official said.
The protest participants were protesting the early parliamentary elections held on February 9. The decision to hold early elections is aimed at supporting the recent personnel reforms implemented by the Azerbaijani president.
The parliamentary elections of the sixth convocation were held with the participation of 1,314 candidates. The candidacies of 246 people were nominated by 19 political parties, 1,057 were self-nominated, 11 - by initiative groups. Twenty-one percent accounted for female candidates while 79 percent – male candidates.
During the election day, 5,573 permanent polling stations operated in 125 constituencies of the country. There were 5,329,460 registered voters.
Some 883 international observers and 77,790 local observers monitored the voting process. Among the local observers, 35,152 were representatives of political parties. International observers represented 58 countries and 59 organizations.
The results of the exit polls suggest that the ruling New Azerbaijan party (YAP) has won the victory in the elections.
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