Second Interim Report of IDI on early parliamentary elections
At this stage, IDI prepared a report by conducting monitoring on the pre-election environment, the election preparation process, the nomination and registration process, the activities of the election administration, preparation for the campaign, the status of complaints and appeals.
No progress has been made in the pre-election campaign to ensure political freedoms, in particular, freedom of speech and press and freedom of assembly, and those who are considered as political prisoners were not released.
During the reporting period, the Central Election Commission (CEC) continued its preparations for the forthcoming elections and technically carried out its activities according to the law and during the legal period. However, it could not ensure equal conditions for candidates during the pre-election campaign.
The update of voter lists was finished on January 15 with 5,238,000 people in 125 constituencies. 25,098 voters were added to the list. The figure released by the CEC is still drastically different from the figure released by the State Statistics Committee.
According to IDI observations, voter lists were not placed at precincts in some election constituencies or it is impossible to see those lists due to the areas they were placed. Furthermore, some polling stations were closed during working hours.
313 people withdrew their nominations within a very short time. Observations show that mass and immediate withdrawal of candidates creates doubt that the process will be carried out by instruction. This conclusion has also been come by the fact that most candidates, who withdrew, work in state-financed offices and enterprises.
As a result of the IDI monitoring, it was identified that the number of candidates who continue to participate in the election is 1,305.
IDI observations show that the reduction of the election period has created serious obstacles to the pre-election campaign, using the legal means available. The lack of favorable conditions for campaigning has led to a dysfunctional campaign period.
The National Council, an important part of the opposition, does not participate in the elections and has not held any mass action during this period. The activities of other leading opposition parties, the Musavat Party, the Real Party, and others, have focused more on electoral constituencies and have not carried out any large-scale public events. As a result, the opportunity to conduct a pre-election campaign in a transparent, fair, and equitable environment was lost for political parties that oppose each other.
Observers working with IDI recorded various violations during the pre-election campaign during long-term observation of 78 constituencies in the country. The pre-election campaign was accompanied by interferences by local executive bodies in the election process, pressure on opposition candidates and their campaigners, the use of administrative resources, and the violation of the principle of equality among candidates.
No election campaign was conducted by opposition or real independent candidate in 40 constituencies. This is actually a situation of political alternativelessness in those constituencies.
The CEC received 23 complaints from 27 candidates, 4 citizens and 1 authorized representative in this stage of parliamentary elections. Of these complaints, 4 were granted, 2 were partially granted, and 17 were rejected as unfounded.