By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Fully occupation of seven electoral districts out of 125, as well as partially occupation of three constituencies in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh, as a result of the Armenian aggression have been reflected in the interim report of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission of 29 January 2020.
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s said these in its official website on February 10, while commenting on the February 9 snap parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan.
In order to grant the constitutional rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) expelled from these territories, 523 polling stations were set up throughout Azerbaijan, the ministry said.
"The IDPs from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, deprived of voting in their home towns, exercised their voting rights in these polling stations arranged specially for them," the statement reads.
The MFA informed that the Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region took part in the elections in Khankendi and Shusha constituencies and became the elected representatives of the region.
As was recalled, Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission and the Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, invited the Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin in the region occupied by Armenia to participate in the parliamentary elections voting.
Note that on 9 February 2020, snap elections took place to the Parliament of Azerbaijan. The elections were held in full compliance with the Constitution of Azerbaijan, the Electoral Code and the international obligations of Azerbaijan.
Some 5,573 polling stations were set up throughout the country, and according to preliminary data of the Central Election Commission. Slightly less than half (47.81 percent) of voters took part in voting and exercised their voting rights.
"The highest number of registered candidates in the elections so far - 1,314 candidates - have been running for the parliament, and this indicates the comprehensiveness and fairness of the candidate registration process, as well as the competitive electoral environment. The elections were also marked by such moments as a significant increase in the number of registered women candidates compared to the previous elections, ensuring broad pluralism with the representation of candidates from 19 political parties," the statement reads.
As many as 883 international observers, who came to the country at the invitation of the Azerbaijani side, and about 78,000 local observers monitored the elections process. At the same time, 199 representatives from 132 foreign media joined the observation of the elections.
"The absolute majority of both international and local observers confirmed that the elections were free, democratic and transparent. If any election-related shortcomings are recorded, they will be seriously investigated," the statement reads.
The parliamentary elections of 9 February 2020 constitute the next important step in the democratic development of Azerbaijan.
Around one million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes in the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding seven regions of Azerbaijan as a result of Armenian occupation in the war in early 1990s.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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