In the article the Foreign Ministry's spokesman stressed that Azerbaijani government has taken all necessary measures to guarantee free, open and transparent elections: "The upcoming parliamentary election will be observed by more than 500 international observers representing PACE, OIC, CIS, BSEC, Turkish Council and other institutions. Meanwhile, 60,000 more local observers will take part in the elections." said the article.
"Without referring to substantiated facts, Nils Muiznieks’s political statement, “elections in Azerbaijan have been marred by irregularities since the country became independent in 1991,” can be construed as disregard for the candidates and observers who are involved in these elections." read the article.
"The author also tries to associate the arrest of some individuals, which are based on due criminal proceedings and court decisions, with the election process. These are completely unrelated matters. It is curious to observe that while referring to individual criminal cases in Azerbaijan, Muiznieks omits to highlight the mass violation of basic human rights of more than 1 million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). These people have been subject of bloody ethnic cleansing as a result of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan," Hikmat Hajiyev stressed in the article.
Interpreting the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights of 2005 and 2010 in the context of political terms, Muiznieks passes in silence over the judgment of ECRH on the case of Chiragov and others vs. Armenia on June 16, 2015. The ECHR ruling effectively put an end to Armenia’s denial of its responsibility for the unlawful occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and underlined the rights of Azerbaijani IDPs who were prevented from returning to their homes and thus unable to use their properties.
Muiznieks’ claims about the “international isolation of Azerbaijan” do not hold up either. Azerbaijan will continue to be an active and responsible member of the international community. As a reliable and predictable country, the network of Azerbaijan’s partnerships only continues to grow.
Elections are an important component of the democratic process in every country. Regardless of what has been said, the free will of the Azerbaijani people, their active participation, and their votes will determine the outcome of elections.