Election of the “selected”

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http://www.turan.az-The parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan are held in a new way, with participation of a large number of candidates and a certain appearance of uncontrollability of the process, especially at the start-up stage – collecting signatures for registration and the registration procedure.

There were no barriers, sifting unfit. However, after the start of the election campaign, the contours of those who became the real “selected” of the highest executive power for representation in the legislative branch began to emerge. This process is analyzed in detail in the election reports of two domestic NGOs – the Institute for Democratic Initiatives and the Election Monitoring Center.

In an interview with four national television channels, President Ilham Aliyev substantiated the early elections by the need to match the composition of the parliament with the emerging new executive staff and the challenges that the country faces, especially in terms of reform and overcoming the crisis. Indeed, among the candidates on the list are people who have long advocated reform, but they are minority, which underestimates the role of the future parliament in terms of matching the role of the emerging executive branch. However, this is only part of the problem of the composition of the future parliament not meeting the challenges of the time and the aspirations of society.

The list of candidates elected by the presidential administration by the  National Council of Democratic Forces,  indicates the continuation of the administration’s traditional approach to the role of parliament as the fifth wheel in public administration. We can call into question the published list of candidates lobbied by the executive bodies during the election campaign, but there are two important arguments that make NCDF’s statement justified-the availability of information about the lobbying of candidates by local executive authorities and the experience of the past. Thus, in 2015, the National Council published the list of voters 22 days before the election. The list was confirmed by more than 90% by the decision of election commissions, which almost exclusively consisted of the nomenclature of the executive branch.

The tactic of the executive branch is to create the appearance of open competition and non-interference will have consequences of internal and external significance. Such a situation will by no means satisfy a society that expects changes spurred by promises by the authorities about reforms and a new policy. In principle, some attempts to reform the ossified system were launched under the pressure of circumstances – a crisis of the economy and state-public relations. The elections were supposed to change the attitude towards the crisis and the power-society relations with their transfer into a constructive channel. Since this does not happen, it means that both crises will be further developed to the point of intersection and the beginning of a new stage in the next attempts to resolve the crisis and achieve harmony in state-public relations.

The external factor, unlike the internal one, is not waiting for the election. It already makes itself felt, which is expressed both in a negative assessment of the election situation and in harsh conclusions and censures against the authorities, who are accused of failure to fulfill international obligations, violation of human rights and freedoms, non-compliance membership in a civilized family of peoples.

For example, on January 28-28, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on “Threats to media freedom and the safety of journalists in Europe,” which sharply condemns the situation in Azerbaijan,

-On 29 January, the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission released an interim negative report on the situation in Azerbaijan on the eve of the February 9 parliamentary elections,

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on January 30 adopted a negative resolution “Report on communications in connection with political prisoners in Azerbaijan,”

– The delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which visited Baku on January 22-23 to assess the pre-election climate in the February 9 parliamentary elections, issued a negative Conclusion,

– US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Carrie Filipetti named the Non-Aligned Movement led by Azerbaijan as a club of authoritarian regimes,

-The Democracy Index, compiled annually by the British company Economist Intelligence Unit among 167 countries of the world, once again characterized the current regime in Azerbaijan – autocracy. Among 167 countries of the world, Azerbaijan again took one of the last places – 147th.

-The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published the next annual report on the human rights situation in the world, where Azerbaijan is in the group of leaders in violation of human rights

– Ten days before the elections in Azerbaijan, a new round of corruption scandal  began in Germany, the participants of which are German politicians who received bribes for lobbying the interests of official Baku.

Such a foreign policy revival does not bode well for the Azerbaijani authorities. It is unlikely that the authorities, taking into account the current and future negative reactions of international institutions, will review the format of upcoming elections.

Such a foreign policy revival does not bode well for the Azerbaijani authorities. It is unlikely that the authorities, taking into account the current and future negative reactions of international institutions, will review the format of the upcoming elections. The process was launched by inertia; it should come to a logical end in the person of an assistant legislative body with several elements of votes that solve nothing. This is exactly what the traditional cohabitation of the executive and legislative authorities of the past 25 years seems to be in reality.

In many ways, the post-election situation and the choice of the future vector of the country’s development will be affected, as was said above, by the decisions and actions of society and international democratic institutions. The actions of the authorities will be merely derivatives of these two quantities, as it has been over the past five crisis years. Another thing is whether they can become constructive and ahead of external and internal expectations.

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