Web Desk January 19, 2021

Baku/19.01.21/Turan: “The unfounded arrests of politicians are, of course, regrettable. I myself, in 2013, was arrested 8 months before the presidential elections in Azerbaijan. And now, in Russia, 8 months before the parliamentary elections, one of the leading political figures, Alexei Navalny, has been arrested. ” Ilgar Mammadov, leader of the Republican Alternative party, said this in an interview with Voice of America.

 

How justified are the hopes that Russian society will hear Navalny’s calls to participate in the parliamentary elections?

 

Answering this question, Mammadov said that the Republican Alternative also called on the population to go to the polls and vote. Navalny’s supporters are urging voters to participate in “smart voting.” At the September elections to the State Duma, this method will be tested again and its effectiveness will become clear to citizens. However, after the arrest of Navalny, he no longer has the opportunity to influence the elections.

 

“We would like this method to justify itself, and we could then offer the Russian experience to the citizens of Azerbaijan as an effective one,” Mammadov said.

 

When asked whether the attitude of the Azerbaijani and Russian authorities to the opposition is similar, Mammadov answered in the affirmative. “There are many similarities. However, this does not mean that the systems are completely the same.

 

The Russian economic and political system is different. There are completely different economic rules in Azerbaijan. Russia has a fairly developed securities market. Therefore, I think it is not correct to project the events in the Russian Federation on Azerbaijan,” Mammadov said.

 

He did not rule out new US and EU sanctions against Russia in connection with the arrest of Navalny – in particular, with regard to the Nord Stream gas project. Another question is how much they will be implemented. For recently, the West took steps to implement the project. It is not yet clear whether Navalny will remain in custody for a long time or will be released soon.

 

The elections in Azerbaijan and Russia by international observation missions have repeatedly been recognized as not meeting democratic standards. What needs to be done to hold elections according to OSCE standards? To this question, Mammadov said that for fair elections in Azerbaijan, first of all, it is necessary to ensure freedom of media and assembly.

 

In addition, amendments to the Electoral Code are needed. And most importantly, the main party organizing the elections is the state, and on the other hand, the opposition must act responsibly and have the political will for an honest campaign and vote.

 

“If there is no will, then no legal norms will improve the quality of elections. Even with the current Electoral Code, fair elections can be held in Azerbaijan,” Mammadov said. -0-

 

Source: Turan News Agency

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