The members of pre-electoral delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe led by Jordi Xuclà (Spain) have issued a statement on their visit to Azerbaijan on 21 and 22 September 2015 for assessing the pre-election process and the preparations for the parliamentary elections to be held in Azerbaijan on 1 November 2015.
SIA reports citing the official website of the PACE that the members of the delegation Aleksandar Nikoloski (“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, EPP/CD), Egemen Bagis (Turkey, EC), Agustín Conde (Spain, EPP/CD), rapporteur of the Monitoring Committee and the head of the delegation Jordi Xuclà (Spain) have exspressed their satisfaction on the visit.
“The delegation welcomed the openness of the Azerbaijani authorities and the invitation being extended to a large number of international organisations to observe the forthcoming parliamentary elections, including long-term observers from OSCE/ODIHR,” said in the satatement.
To the regret of the pre-electoral PACE mission, no agreement was reached between OSCE/ODIHR and the Azerbaijani authorities on the number of observers to be deployed and the methodology, so eventually this observation mission was cancelled by OSCE/ODIHR.
According to the statement, the pre-electoral mission delegation was informed by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) about the different stages of the preparation of the parliamentary elections. According to the CEC, no complaints have been submitted to it so far. The PACE pre-electoral mission welcomes in particular the fact that some major opposition parties have decided to co-operate within a political alliance to enhance their chances of being elected. Also during a round-table meeting with a large number of NGOs, human rights defenders and civil society activists, interlocutors unanimously called for this election observation mission by PACE to go ahead.
"The PACE delegation was assured by representatives of the Azerbaijani authorities that all necessary measures will be undertaken to guarantee the transparency of the electoral process, including during the voting and counting procedure."
"The delegation held meetings with the Speaker of the Parliament of Azerbaijan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, members of Azerbaijan’s delegation to PACE, the leaders and representatives of parliamentary groups and parties represented in the Parliament, the leaders and representatives of opposition parties not represented in the Parliament, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Baku, and representatives of civil society and the media." stated in the statement.