Friday, June 25, 2010

Azerbaijan: the forthcoming parliamentary elections must be in full compliance with European standards

Ahead of the parliamentary elections in November 2010, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on the Azerbaijani authorities “to ensure the necessary conditions for the full compliance of the forthcoming elections with the European standards”. In line with the conclusions of the monitoring co-rapporteurs, Andres Herkel (Estonia, EPP/CD) and Joseph Debono Grech (Malta, SOC), it encouraged the authorities to co-operate with the Venice Commission in order to continue with the revision of the electoral code and to “generate conditions for a fair electoral campaign” by fully implementing the law on the freedom of assembly and by ensuring the freedom of the media.

In this context, the PACE called on the Azerbaijani authorities “to pass on a clear message, at the highest political level, that electoral fraud will not be tolerated” and urged all political parties to take part in the forthcoming elections. The Assembly stressed that these elections were all the more important given that “it was necessary to reinforce the application of the constitutionally-guaranteed principle of the separation of powers” and, especially, to strengthen the parliament’s role vis-à-vis the executive.

Lastly, with regard to the media situation, the Assembly condemned the arrests, intimidation, harassment, and physical threats of journalists, reiterated its position that defamation should be decriminalised and called on the authorities to release Eynulla Fatullayev as ordered by the European Court of Human Rights.

Source: PACE. Published on 24 June 2010.

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