BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —
A key Azerbaijan NGO said Monday it is ready to welcome back election monitors from the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) which in 2013, over-ruled other independent observer missions which had found the Presidential elections to be “free, fair and transparent”.
The Association for Civil Society Development in Azerbaijan (ACSDA) said it trusts ODIHR will be “truly objective” when it arrives ahead of the November 2015 Parliamentary elections despite its previous findings.
ACSDA President Elkhan Suleymanov said back in 2013, “Three officially mandated independent and professional observation missions from European parliamentary assemblies, namely from PACE, OSCE-PA and the European Parliament unanimously came to the conclusion that the Presidential elections were open, free and fair, albeit that there were some minor shortcomings.”
“Nevertheless,” he added, “civil servants from ODIHR, who, unlike the Parliamentary delegations have no representative capacity, completely overruled the findings of these official delegations.”
Suleymanov concluded that this was an attempt to harm the reputation of Azerbaijan.
But despite these previous misgivings, he said he welcomes the ODIHR team ahead of the Parliamentary poll. He said in Azerbaijan they will find a nation of voters looking first and foremost for stability in a “very fragile geopolitical neighbourhood.”
The alternative, he believes, is a thirst for revolution that has ruined Ukraine, all Maghreb and most Middle-East countries, turning “Many of them into failed states, and endangering the world peace as never before.”
Suleymanov made his comments in an open letter to ODIHR Director Michael George Link which concluded: “I do trust that this time, during upcoming parliamentary elections, you will assess elections in full objectivity, albeit for the first time.”
His letter was also sent to OSCE Chair Ivica Dacic, OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva, President of the European Parliament Martin Shulz, Secretary General of Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and PACE President Anne Brasseur.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor