A sign indicating the direction towards a polling station in Baku. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

23 December 2019, 22:37

Observers report violations at elections in Azerbaijan

Ballot papers throws-in, "carousels", removal of observers from polling stations and other irregularities have been fixed at the municipal elections in Azerbaijan by the Centre for Election Monitoring and Democracy Education (CEM&DE). Analysts pointed to the absence of an acute rivalry among candidates.

The voter turnout at the elections is not high – on Monday morning it made 8.51%, said Mamed Mamedzade, the executive director of the CEM&DE.

According to his story, observers record traditional violations – ballot stuffing (throws-in), "carousels", non-access or removal of observers from polling stations. Most violations occur in the constituencies, where independent candidates run for elected seats.

The election campaign passed amid apathy in the society, said Samir Kazymly, the coordinator of the "Alliance for the Protection of Political Freedoms".

The election campaign and elections in Azerbaijan are held in the absence of competition, Bakhtiyar Gadjiev, the head of the Institute for Public Policy, believes. "With the exception of four municipal formations, where independent candidates had been nominated, the overwhelming majority of seats are contended by former members of local self-government bodies or new nominees of the ruling "Eni Azerbaijan" Party, he has explained.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 23, 2019 at 06:40 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid Source: CK correspondent

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