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Baku hosts seminar on development of electoral legislation in CIS

16 December 2013 18:40 (UTC+04:00)
Baku hosts seminar on development of electoral legislation in CIS

By Jamila Babayeva

An international seminar titled "Developing Election Laws in Europe and the CIS: Improvement Pathways and Enforcement Practices" opened in Baku on December 16.

Opening the two day seminar, Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament Valeh Alaskarov read out the congratulatory message of Speaker Ogtay Asadov to the participants.

Development of electoral legislation in Azerbaijan provides for freedom of expression of the citizens, Asadov said in his message.

"A regulatory framework for objective, fair and democratic elections at all levels, which guarantees the Azerbaijani citizens' freedom of expression, was created in the country as part of the development of the Electoral Code and the individual inter-sectoral laws," he said.

The speaker noted that the formation of an effectively working Central Election Commission allowed to provide the implementation of a new electoral law, and to provide activity of district and precinct commissions, achieving high accuracy and uniformity in implementation of the electoral law.

"Recent presidential election, in which the vast majority of Azerbaijani citizens supported President Ilham Aliyev, was a clear proof of the effectiveness of the electoral process. We should not forget that the improvement of electoral legislation is an ongoing process requiring detailed study and implementation of international experience, best practices and electoral systems," the speaker said.

"In this regard, we will give the utmost assistance to the exchange of information, holding various expert consultations to develop the most effective mechanisms of the electoral process."

Addressing the seminar, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (IPA) CIS Council Alexey Sergeev said that the experience in holding the presidential election in Azerbaijan will help the development of the electoral legislation in the CIS countries.

"The CIS observers stressed the significant progress in developing electoral legislation and organizing the activity of the central and district election commissions in October 2013 while preparing and observing further holding of the presidential election in Azerbaijan," he said.

"We hope that our Azerbaijani colleagues will share their," he said.

"Moreover, tomorrow we plan to visit the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission, see the available infrastructure and advanced technologies used here, as well as become acquainted with the work of the district electoral commissions using videoconferencing. This will allow making proposals for further improvement of the electoral base in the CIS area."

Sergeev said that Baku was not chosen as the venue of the workshop by chance.

The CIS countries are at the stage of completion of the formation of the electoral legislation, he noted.

"Of course, we cannot ignore the international experience of such organizations as the Council of Europe and OSCE. At the same time, it is important to take into account national specificities and other aspects in our region," the Secretary General of the IPA CIS said.

In his speech Sergeev read out the message of the Chairman of Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko to the seminar participants.

The key task of the present stage of state building is to improve the current legislation in order to better reflect the interests of all actors in the electoral sphere of structures, the message reads.

The IPA CIS seminars, that have became traditional and are dedicated to the most topical issues of adoption of electoral legislation and practical application play an important role in establishing cooperation in this sphere. Discussion of basic principles and techniques of international election observation at the seminars plays an important role in the transformation of the international monitoring of elections into an effective instrument of interstate and inter-parliamentary cooperation, stimulating the strengthening of trust and the development of democracy, the message highlighted.

The event was attended by the parliamentarians of CIS member countries, NGO representatives and experts of election legislature were organized by the Azerbaijani Parliament and the CIS Parliamentary Assembly.

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