Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issues statement in connection with parliamentary elections

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has made a statement in connection with the parliamentary elections held on Feb. 9.

“The elections were held in full compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Electoral Code and the international obligations of Azerbaijan,” the statement said. “A total of 5,573 polling stations have been set up throughout the country. According to the preliminary data of the Central Election Commission, 47.81 percent of people took part in voting and exercised their voting rights.”

“As a result of the Armenian aggression, the territories of seven out of 125 electoral districts located in Azerbaijan were fully occupied while the territories of three electoral districts were partially occupied,” the statement said. “Some 523 polling stations were set up throughout the country to ensure the exercise of the constitutional rights of internally displaced people (IDPs) expelled from these territories.”

“This was also reflected in the interim report of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Election Observation Mission as of January 29, 2020,” the statement said. “The IDPs from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, deprived of an opportunity of voting in their native lands, exercised their voting rights in these polling stations arranged specially for them.”

“The Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan took part in the elections in Khankendi and Shusha constituencies and became the elected representatives of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan,” the statement said. “The Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia were invited by the Central Election Commission, as well as by the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, to participate in the parliamentary elections.”

“The biggest number of registered candidates in the parliamentary elections up till now – 1,314 candidates was involved in the elections and this testifies to the comprehensiveness and fairness of the candidate registration process, as well as the competitive electoral environment,” the statement said. “The elections were also marked by such moments as a significant increase in the number of registered women candidates compared to the previous elections, ensuring broad pluralism with the representation of candidates from 19 political parties.”

“The election process was monitored by 883 international observers, who arrived at the invitation of the Azerbaijani side, and about 78,000 local observers,” the statement said. “At the same time, 199 representatives from 132 foreign media outlets also observed the elections. The absolute majority of both international and local observers confirmed that the elections were free, democratic and transparent. If any election-related shortcomings are recorded, they will be thoroughly investigated.”

“The parliamentary elections held on February 9, 2020 are another important step in the democratic development of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” the statement said.