CEC views ODIHR statement on election as insulting voters` will

  12 October 2013    Read: 519
CEC views ODIHR statement on election as insulting voters` will
Central Election Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan issued a statement concerning the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR and OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on the election of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan held on October 9, 2013.
The statement reads:

The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan considers the preliminary statement of the OSCE/ODIHR on the election of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was held on October 9, 2013, as an insult to the will of Azerbaijani voters, and completely ignores it.

The OSCE/ODIHR`s judgment, made on October 10, about the Azerbaijani presidential election stands in total contrast to the opinion of 20 other international organizations, which monitored the election. Making such a statement leaves the OSCE/ODIHR isolated.
In order to ensure free, fair and democratic conduct of the election of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on October 9, 2013, the Central Election Commission carried out large-scaled projects, organized awareness-raising events for all participants of the electoral process, created equal conditions for all candidates without exception, while the activities of election commissions were open for local public and the international community. In order to guarantee openness, web cameras were installed in 1000 polling stations across the country, apart from areas in the occupied lands, to allow internet users uninterruptedly watch the process on the Election Day, conditions were created for nearly 1,400 international observers and media representatives, as well as nearly 52,000 local observers to freely monitor the processes from the beginning to the end.

The election was observed by representatives of reputable international organizations such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE and the European Union, parliamentarians from France, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, Turkey and several other countries, as well as observers from CIS, the Turkic-speaking countries Parliamentary Assembly and other European and American organizations, who praised the election, stating that the processes were free and fair, and that they did not observe any cases that could have cast doubt on the results of the election. At a press conference on the results of the election, Michel Voisin, head of the OSCE/ODIHR`s main 280-man short-term observation mission, which carried out the monitoring on the Election Day, protested against the report of the organization he represents, and stated that the election took place in a free, transparent and fair manner to unambiguously define the winner.

In their statements made on October 10, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament emphasized that the presidential election in the Republic of Azerbaijan was free, transparent and fair.

But as usual, the OSCE/ODIHR was the only organization that again took a biased position toward the Azerbaijani elections, which is characterized by especial prejudice against a background of general observation environment. The preliminary report of the mission for observation of the election is totally at variance with real observations of numerous monitors and their well-founded position, and represents the continuation of the biased line featured in interim reports, which served to clearly distort the reality.

The OSCE/ODIHR, which turns a blind eye to grave irregularities in the elections held in neighboring countries including assassination attempts, continues to lay fictitious claims against Azerbaijan.

The simple principle of the balanced approach was disregarded while preparing this report, which is unique in terms of attempts made to cast shadow on the process, and the report sharply criticized most of the aspects praised by the OSCE/ODIHR at previous elections, while assessment of different stages of the election process was not based on the facts or the facts as well as the country`s legislation, including the Election Code, were openly distorted, with assumptions taken as a basis. Despite the existing multiple hard facts were presented by the Central Election Commission to the mission representatives, they were ignored demonstratively.

At the same time, the mission paid no heed to the problem caused at the elections by such a reality as the presence of over a million of refugees and IDPs in the Republic of Azerbaijan, which goes through very complex processes associated with the protection of international values, and 20 percent of whose lands has been under occupation of Armenia over the past twenty years. Thus, the list of facts confirming the biased assessment became even bigger.

Although while preparing the report the evaluation mission did not deem it necessary to think about negative consequences of such an activity, which contradicts its image and mission and is taken in many cases by its honest representatives with clear discontent, it failed to break down the confidence in and commitment of the Azerbaijani public to international principles and values.

Taking all this into consideration, the Central Election Commission insists that the opinions of observer groups of the OSCE/ODIHR with respect to the polling stations, where, as claimed, the monitoring was carried out while making the aforementioned report, are published on the webpage of the organization and presented to the Central Election Commission, and informs the organization that only when it is done relevant steps can be taken with respect to proposals, which will be made now and in future.

The Central Election Commission once again states that it attaches a particular emphasis to mutually constructive cooperation with international organizations, and expresses its intention to expand and develop its relations with organizations, which, in their activities, are guided by democratic criteria, and notes that it is forced to apply to the government of Azerbaijan to consider the issue of continuation of cooperation with the OSCE/ODIHR, which, as a rule, demonstrates a biased position.

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