According to a spokesman for the U.S. administration, the Azeri elections fell short of the international standards
There is still a lot of controversy over the results of parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan last Sunday. The White House expressed concern about the situation in Azerbaijan. According to a spokesman for the U.S. administration, the Azeri elections fell short of the international standards. The United States called on the Azeri government to “immediately launch an inquiry into violations and fraud” committed during the vote. Meanwhile, U.S. representative pointed out that the U.S. administration favors a peaceful way of expressing protest and condemns acts of violence.
The spokesman for the U.S. administration praised a few recent improvements in the electoral system of Azerbaijan including the increase in the number of registered candidates, a better performance of the public relation network, and a go-ahead for international observers to monitor the elections.
Following a short period of vacillation, the United States finally sided with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which is monitoring the elections. Earlier this week the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE released a statement saying that numerous violations had been registered during the elections. “There was an increase in violations during the counting of votes,” says the statement.
CIS observers seem to be quite happy about the way the elections were held. “Nothing can be totally ideal or sterile. There are always some shortcomings or violations. Vote rigging and fraud happen at times, but the violations were not widespread and could not affect the results of the election,” head of the CIS monitoring mission Vladimir Rushailo, said in an interview.
Mr. Rushailo's statement was not a revelation. Every time he monitors an election he says there are no violations.
According to preliminary results released by the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan, the ruling party Eni Azerbaijan (New Azerbaijan), has won more than a half of seats in parliament. Brand-new deputies include the president's wife Mekhriban Aliyev, the president's uncle Jalal Aliyev, an academician, and the head of the Russian community Mikhail Zabelin. Meanwhile, all the opposition leaders of Azerbaijan lost the race. Chairman of the Democratic Party Rasul Guliyev lost to the head of the Azeri delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly in Council of Europe Samed Seidov while Isa Gambar, a leader of the opposition Musavat party, got fewer votes than Adil Aliyev, a brother of Baku's police chief Magerram Aliyev.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969