OSZE PV - Wahlen in Aserbaidschan am 9. Oktober 2013 - Doris Barnett Remarks for the press conference

I myself have come to this beautiful country for the first time and I have been well received, among others by the Speaker of the Parliament my parliamentary colleague Ogtay Asadov and the leader of the Azerbaijani OSCE PA delegation Bahar Muradova and I thank the authorities for a good cooperation especially during the briefings for the members of the parliamentary assembly delegations.

On election day, I went to the cities of Baku and Sumgait. Sumgait happens to be the Azerbaijani twin city of my German home town of Ludwigshafen.

Of course I could only see a very small part of the overall picture of the elections in this country. The seven polling stations I visited in those two cities left a very positive impression on me.

OSZE PV - Wahlen in Aserbaidschan am 9. Oktober 2013 - Press release

BAKU, 10 October 2013 – The 9 October presidential election in Azerbaijan was undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly and association that did not guarantee a level playing field for candidates, the international observers concluded in a statement released today. Continued allegations of candidate and voter intimidation and a restrictive media environment marred the campaign.

Significant problems were observed throughout all stages of election day processes and underscored the serious shortcomings that need to be addressed in order for Azerbaijan to fully meet its OSCE commitments for genuine and democratic elections, the statement said.

“I was pleased by the good organization of the election and the number of candidates who took part, as well as the peaceful atmosphere on election day,” said Michel Voisin, the Special Co-ordinator who led the OSCE short-term election observation mission. “Regretfully, however, we have to underline shortcomings in areas like the counting of ballots, and I would hope that the Azerbaijani authorities will make a real effort to bring such areas in line with OSCE commitments.”