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European Parliament sharply criticizes presidential elections in Azerbaijan

Presidential elections held in Azerbaijan on October 9 did not meet international standards, reads the resolution adopted on the eve of the plenary session of the European Parliament. The draft resolution is available on the organization's website.

It is emphasized that the campaign in Azerbaijan was carried out with violations of international standards.

The European Parliament is concerned about the human rights problems in Azerbaijan and insists that the authorities have taken appropriate steps to demonstrate its commitment to the standards of freedom of expression and assembly, as well as the protection of the rights of opposition.

Besides that, the European Parliament calls for the immediate release of 14 opposition leaders and human rights activists who were arrested in recent months, including Tofig Yagublu, the deputy chairman of the "Musavat" party and an employee of the "Yeni Musavat" newspaper as well as the leader of "REAL" Ilgar Mamedov. The organization calls on Azerbaijan to stop harassment of oppositionist activists as an indispensable condition for any agreement and to review the strategic partnership with Azerbaijan.

"The European Parliament deplores for the fact that the presidential elections in Azerbaijan, as the OSCE/ODIHR has concluded, has once again failed to meet OSCE standards," the document reads. It is noted that the OSCE observation mission has recorded a number of violations and urged the authorities to seriously address these problems.

The resolution expresses regret at the fact that the issue of signing the Association Agreement by Azerbaijan with the EU is still not solved because of hesitations and lack of a clear point of view.

Besides that, the European Parliament has adopted a draft resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, noting that the conflict should be resolved on the basis adopted in 1993 by the UN Security Council and the basic principles of the OSCE Minsk Group set out in the L'Aquila Joint Statement on July 10, in 2009. The draft resolution also calls on the EU to take a more active part in the settlement process.

On October 9 presidential election were held in Azerbaijan during which incumbent President Ilham Aliyev received 84.54% of votes. Jamil Hasanli, a single candidate from the opposition National Council of Democratic Forces, was on the second place. He scored 5.53% of the vote.

The joint statement of the ODIHR / OSCE observation mission and the Parliamentary Assembly, noted that the presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan in terms of restriction of freedom of speech and assembly. In its turn, the Minister for European Affairs David Lidington stated that the British Foreign Ministry shares the OSCE / ODIHR’s opinion that the presidential elections held in Azerbaijan failed to meet the commitments with OSCE. Opinion of the OSCE and the United Kingdom are also divided the U.S. Department of State.



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