By Aynur Karimova
As the long-awaited November 1 parliamentary elections are approaching, the number of observers, who will monitor the election process, increases.
The Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan, Mazahir Panahov, said on October 16 that to date, some 37,079 persons have passed registration at the district election commissions to observe the parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, following an official invitation to observe the elections in Azerbaijan, CIS observers officially launched a monitoring mission on October 14.
Sergey Lebedev, the Chair of the Executive Committee of the CIS was approved as head of the CIS Election Monitoring Mission.
The mission will comply with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law for the organization of elections, the laws of Azerbaijan, the principles of respect for the sovereignty of the country and noninterference in the electoral process.
AzerTag state news agency further reported that a delegation led by the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia, Vladimir Churov, will monitor elections in Azerbaijan as part of the international mission.
"From the standpoint of the international observation mission, the upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan will be characterized by the absence of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The ODIHR Head took a private illegal decision not to send an observation mission to Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, it is contrary to the relevant documents of the organization," Churov said.
Earlier in September, the Director of the ODIHR, Michael Georg Link, announced that the OSCE would not observe the upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.
Preparations for the upcoming elections are in full swing. Campaigning kicked off on October 9 and will last until 8:00 a.m. October 31, exactly 23 days before voting as required by law.
In accordance with the schedule approved by the CEC, campaigning can be carried out by registered candidates, their authorized representatives and agents, political parties or political party blocs, and their authorized representatives and agents.
This year about 8 candidates will compete for one seat in the 125-seat Azerbaijani Parliament, the supreme legislative body of the country.
As of October 13, the number of persons who were registered as observers in the districts has exceeded 22,606.
The printing house of the Azerbaijani Parliament has already begun printing some of the 5,344,431 total election ballot papers needed for the 125 election constituencies.
The ballots will first be delivered to the election commissions of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and then to the election constituencies of the mountainous areas of Azerbaijan. Sumgayit, Absheron and Baku will be the last points for distribution.
In accordance with the Electoral Code of Azerbaijan, the process of printing ballot papers will be completed 10 days before voting day.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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