EU, Opposition Groups Criticize Azerbaijani Elections

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s ruling party won a landslide victory in the country’s Nov. 1 parliamentary elections, which were largely boycotted by the main opposition parties. According to Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission, Aliyev’s Yeni Azerbaijan party won 70 seats out of 125.

Ilham Aliyev (Photo:
Ilham Aliyev (Photo:

Several groups have accused the Aliyev government of limiting other parties from campaigning by jailing several political opponents on baseless charges ahead of the elections.

Many opposition parties and groups in Azerbaijan, including the Musavat Party, the ReAl Movement, and Nida, have called for new elections amid multiple vote-rigging claims, reported Meydan TV. The groups have called for the release of political prisoners and the establishment of an environment for free and fair elections.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has called on Azerbaijani authorities to implement recommendations on elections put forth by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR). According to the EU statement, no agreement was reached between the Azerbaijani authorities and OSCE/ODIHR on the number of electoral observers, which prompted OSCE/ODIHR to cancel its election observation mission to the country.

Most Western groups, including the OSCE, refused to monitor Azerbaijan’s Parliamentary elections because of restrictions imposed by Baku.

“The EU supports elections based on international standards, conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner. In yesterday’s elections one major opposition party did not participate, as it deemed that a level playing field was not guaranteed for all the candidates,” read a part of the statement.

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