OSCE PA cites progress in Azerbaijan election process

9 October 2013 11:50 (UTC+04:00)

By Nigar Orujova

Positive changes in the electoral process have occurred worldwide over the past 20 years, including in Azerbaijan, head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation Doris Barnett said on October 9 as Azerbaijani citizens vote to elect their president.

"We are interested in the electoral process and want to know about this process in Azerbaijan," said Barnett, a member of the German parliament.

Another member of the observation mission, German MP Hakki Keskin, emphasized the activeness of voters being observed during the voting. Keskin said there have been no negative incidents registered at the polling stations that are being monitored.

Keskin is conducting monitoring at the 20th electoral district of the 23rd Nasimi-Sabail constituency.

According to Keskin, the organization of exit polls is at a good level, which is an important step in ensuring the transparency of the elections.

According to the chair of a polling station, Faina Alekberova, so far about 100 people have voted.

Independent US observer Solomon Ortiz said very high voter turnout is observed in all constituencies.

Ortiz is a representative of the observation mission of the Central European political monitoring group. He has visited six polling stations.

According to him, one of the main points stressed during the election observation is the lack of any violations and a high level of transparency of the voting process.

"Voter turnout in the elections is even more here than in the U.S.," he said while observing the voting process at the polling stations No. 21 and No. 22 of the second Nasimi constituency No. 22, where around 2,500 voters were registered.

According to GUAM Secretary General Valeri Chechelashvili, who heads the observer mission of the organization, which comprises Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, preparations for the elections in Azerbaijan had been held at a good level.

"GUAM observers, including myself, have visited a number of polling stations where they witnessed good preparations for the elections. Overall, my assessment is positive. We are very pleased with what we saw," Chechelashvili said.

The head of the observer mission from CIS, CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev said the election campaign in Azerbaijan is quite tranquil.

"All the conditions were created for the voters to exercise their suffrage," Lebedev said.

In connection with the elections, the Central Election Commission (CEC) established 5,273 permanent and 219 temporary polling stations.

A total of 52,000 people will observe the election in Azerbaijan, nearly 1,400 of whom are international observers.

The CEC has registered 5,145,000 voters in Azerbaijan, which has a population of around 9.4 million.

Ten candidates are running for president, including the chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party, President Ilham Aliyev, the chairman of Umid Party Igbal Aghazade, self-nominated candidate MP Zahid Oruj, the chairman of the United Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, MP Gudrat Hasanguliyev, the chairman of Modern Musavat Party Hafiz Hajiyev, the chairman of Azerbaijan Social Democratic Party Araz Alizade, the chairman of the National Revival Movement party, MP Faraj Guliyev, the candidate nominated by the initiative group of voters of the National Council of Democratic Forces, Jamil Hasanli, the chairman of Adalat Party, MP Ilyas Ismayilov and the chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu.