Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

ODIHR Cancels its Election Observation Mission to Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan

14 September 2015

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) had to cancel its election observation mission for the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan scheduled for 1 November 2015 due to considerable limitations imposed by Azerbaijani authorities on the number of allowed observers. The announcement was recently made by the ODIHR director Michael Georg Link who stated with regret that the deployment of ODIHR mission had to be revoked because “the restriction on the number of observers taking part would make it impossible for the mission to carry out effective and credible election observation”.

In reaction to this announcement, Co-Chair of the EaP-CSF Steering Committee Krzysztof Bobinski commented: “It is a great pity that ODIHR has been forced to cancel its election observation mission to Azerbaijan’s parliamentary election next month. Baku’s failure to cooperate on the issue of the numbers of observers needed for the election shows that the Azeri government continues to retreat from its international human civic rights obligations and is building an authoritarian regime, which falls far short of the country’s stated European aspirations”.

The European Parliament also reacted last week to the flawed electoral environment in Azerbaijan by including in its resolution on Azerbaijan the  decision to decline sending an Election Observation Mission to Azerbaijan and the call on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EU Member States to refrain from ‪election observation activities for the time being.  

OSCE/ODIHR press release

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