2018-04-12
No:102/18, Press Statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hikmat Hajiyev on the preliminary conclusions of the International Election Observation mission
We do not consider the preliminary conclusions of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the presidential elections held on April 11, as fair and objective.

Today, representatives of the observation mission were received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the protest of Azerbaijani side was presented.

In the preliminary conclusions subjective allegations and biased political considerations dominate the methodological and technical approach to observe the elections.

The allegations that presidential elections took place within a restrictive political environment are completely groundless. All the necessary conditions have been provided for registered candidates to carry free and open pre-election campaign. Presenting inactions of some marginal political forces owning to their political weakness and lack of political support base and passive election campaign of some candidates as shortcoming is totally incorrect.

Media in the Republic of Azerbaijan is completely free. In the pre-election period, along with the media, there were active environment of political debate, even beyond any ethical norms in the social networks as well.

Election process took place under the conditions of voters’ active turnout in a free manner pursuant to the requirements of law. Contrary to this, without any substantiated facts allegations such as “disregard to mandatory procedures, lack of transparency and numerous serious irregularities” do not withhold any criticism. We demand from the OSCE/ODHIR to present such facts, if they have any.

It is impossible to perceive such information serious when elections were unrestrictedly monitored by more than 60.000 domestic and international observers and 1000 web cameras in an online regime.

Occurrence of technical irregularities during the election cannot be excluded. However, overgeneralization of individual technical irregularities and applying them into the entire election is assessed as overstepping the mandate and biased political attitude.

While reviewing the preliminary conclusions, one can easily witness contradictory and self-disproving paragraphs. For instance, it is completely incomprehensible that at one point the preliminary conclusions note the positive conditions provided by Government of Azerbaijan for international observers, professional work of the Central Election Commission, but in another point claim about lack of transparency and disregard for mandatory procedures.

Such cases are sufficient in the document, and anyone who reads it can clearly see it.

The attitude displayed by the International Observation Mission is, in the first place, disrespect to the millions of Azerbaijani voters who freely expressed their right to vote.

In accordance with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the elections are primarily held for the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the free, democratic, fair and transparent presidential elections the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan once again expressed their political will.

The presidential elections held on 11 April became yet another important milestone in the democratic development of our country and the strengthening of democratic institutions.
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