Azerbaijani News Wires: Turan News Agency
November 6, 2005
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS STARTED IN AZERBAIJAN
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Today Milli Mejlis elections have started in Azerbaijan. A total of 1,544 candidates will struggle for 125 deputy mandates.
Voting started at 8.00 a.m. at 5,137 polling stations and it will continue till 7.00 p.m. The lists of electors include names of 4,666,000 citizens.
A total of 1,586 international and 57,000 local observers monitor elections. In addition, three exit polls are held in the country. Preliminary voting results will be announced by CEC by midnight.-0-
MAJORITY OF POPULATION TO SUPPORT AZADLIG BLOC, SAYS MUSAVAT PARTY'S LEADER
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: At 9.00 a.m. Musavat party's leader Isa Gambar voted at Narimanov region electoral district No 23.
After voting journalists asked Gambar about irregularities in the voting process. He answered that it is too early to make any comments, because voting has just started.
Questioned how many deputy mandates Azadlig bloc will get in parliament, Gambar answered that "overwhelming majority of population" supports opposition.--0--
AT SEVERAL POLLING STATIONS IN NASIMI REGION ELECTORAL DISTRICT NO 22 VOTING STARTED WITHOUT PRELIMINARY BALLOT PAPERS COUNTING
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: At polling stations No 5, 9, 10 and 13 of Nasimi region electoral district No 22 voting started without preliminary counting of ballot papers. Rena Sadaddinova, person empowered to act for candidate for parliament Hajimurad Sadaddinov, has informed CEC chairman and head of OSCE/ODIHR observation mission about that.
She asked to provide aid to prevent falsifications.-0-
POLICE DETAINED YENI MUSAVAT DAILY'S REPORTER
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Police has detained Mahabbat Orujev, Yeni Musavat daily's correspondent and local observer, at polling station No 17 in Sabunchi region electoral district No 28 in Bilga district, Rauf Arifoglu, Yeni Musavat daily's editor-in-chief, candidate for parliament in this district, told TURAN.
He said that Orujev has been taken to Sabunchi region police station No 14 on the basis of framed-up report.-0--
PRESIDENT ILHAM ALIYEV CLAIMS ELECTIONS CONDUCTED NORMALLY
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: President Ilham Aliyev has voted today at polling station No 6 in Sabail region electoral district No 29 in Baku centre. After voting president told journalists that elections are conducted normally. Equal and all necessary conditions have been created for journalists in the election campaign. The fact that over 2,000 candidates have been registered proves that we are interested in democratic elections, added Aliyev. President expressed hope that after elections democratic development will continue in Azerbaijan. -0--
EXECUTIVE AUTHORITIES AND YENI AZERBAIJAN PARTY'S BRANCHES IN WESTERN REGIONS ELECTIONEER FOR AUTHORITIES' CANDIDATES
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: By 10.30 a.m. 2,061 electors voted in Tovuz-Gazakh-Agstafa electoral district No 106, said Veliyev Hagani, chairman of electoral commission in this district. Chairman of electoral commission of Tovuz region electoral district No 105 said that a total of 2,331 electors voted in this district by 10.30 a.m.
Voting in these districts goes in a rather tense atmosphere. Local executive authorities and branches of Yeni Azerbaijan party openly electioneer in favor of authorities' candidates Gylynjov Ilgar and Ganira Pashayeva. Under threat of dismissal and harassment, heads of local budgetary organizations have been instructed to ensure victory of these candidates.
As TURAN's correspondent reports from the region, special microbuses bring electors to the polling stations for repeated voting on "carrousel" principle. Voting is complicated by bad weather. Because of heavy showers electors gathered in polling stations causing chaos and hindering normal course of voting. In these conditions fingers of majority of electors are not marked by special inks and not checked.-0-
INSTITUTE OF PEACE AND DEMOCRACY ABOUT VOTING IRREGULARITIES
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Institute of Peace and Democracy, which monitors parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, reported that since beginning of voting irregularities have been registered in several districts.
At polling station No 19 in Surakhany region electoral district No 32 (school No 232) Zakir Asadov, member of electoral commission, has been arrested by police by demand of commission chairman (school director) for an attempt to draw up a report on violation of voting procedure.
At Surakhany electoral district No 30 electors, Nord plant's employees, have been brought to the polling station by bus.
At polling stations No 16, 18, 20 (school No 7, Jorat district) in Absheron-Sumgait electoral district No 44 many electors were allowed to the stations at once to cause problems for observers. Disturbances are expected at this district this evening. At Sabunchi region electoral district No 27 and Azizbekov region electoral district No 13 executive authorities electioneer this morning for Haji Hafiz and Rauf Aliyev.-0-
ELECTIONEERING FOR RULING PARTY'S CANDIDATE CONTINUES IN YASAMAL REGION ELECTORAL DISTRICT NO 15
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: 5-7 metres high portraits of Gular Ahmedova, candidate for parliament representing ruling party Yeni Azerbaijan, still hang today on the territory of Yasamal region electoral district No 15. This is a blatant violation of law, because the election campaign was over yesterday at 8.00 p.m.-0-
OPPOSITION TO STAGE MASS DEMONSTRATION ON NOVEMBER 8, SAYS PPFA LEADER
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Leader of Azerbaijan Popular Front party Ali Kerimli voted today at 11.00 a.m. at polling station No 5 in Nasimi-Sabail region electoral district No 23. He told journalists that there are already reports about voting irregularities. He added that he has been informed about hindering of observers' work, pressure of executive authorities and police on electors and incorrect use of inks for marking electors' fingers. For instance, member of district election commission in Neftchala region has not been allowed to the polling station.
If elections are falsified, Azadlig bloc will call on people not to recognize voting results. But opposition will use only peaceful means of struggle and is going to stage demonstrations on November 8.-0--
VLADIMIR RUSHAILO SATISFIED WITH PREPARATION AND COURSE OF VOTING IN AZERBAIJAN
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: The CIS observation mission has its representatives in all 125 electoral districts of Azerbaijan. By 11.00 a.m. voting went normally, head of the mission Vladimir Rushailo told journalists.
He said some electors have lodged complaints about violations. We will ask Interior Ministry, CEC and Supreme Court to consider these facts and draw a conclusion by November 7.
Rushailo added that electors are very active in rural regions, while electors attendance in cities is lower. The highest attendance is expected from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m.
Head of CIS observation mission said on November 5 his representatives held meetings in several district electoral commissions. "Members of election commissions are specialist and this is not the first elections for them. We are satisfied with the preparation for elections. The fact that a great number of candidates has been registered shows transparent and democratic character of elections," says Rushailo.-0--
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS REGISTER SERIOUS VIOLATIONS AT NARIMANOV ELECTORAL DISTRICT NO 20 AND NASIMI ELECTORAL DISTRICT NO 21
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Serious violations have been registered in Narimanov region electoral district No 20, human rights agent Novella Jafaroglu told TURAN. She said that supporters of Adil Aliyev, chief of police station, distribute money among electors urging to vote for him. In addition, many policemen in civilian clothes electioneer for Adil Aliyev close to polling stations.
The same source said that at Ramana district electoral district No 8 commission members do not mark electors' fingers with special inks.
At polling station No 19 in Masally region electoral district No 70 chief of health department openly threatens electors urging them to vote for Akhad Abiyev, candidate from ruling party. At other polling stations Abiyev's brother, chief of local social security department, also electioneers for Akhad Abiyev.
In Kurdakhany district executive authorities interfere into electoral procedure and electioneer for pro-governmental candidate. In this district exit poll is held by specially trained people, said Jafaroglu.-0-
IN SAATLY REGION MEMBERS OF RULING PARTY YENI AZERBAIJAN HOLD EXIT POLL ON BEHALF OF MITOFSKY INTERNATIONAL
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: At Saatly region electoral district No 62 (polling stations 1 and 6) members of ruling party Yeni Azerbaijan, executive authorities and their relatives hold exit poll on behalf of U.S. Mitofsky International organization, reads statement of Annaga Hajibeyli, candidate in this district. He also reported that electors voted for pro-governmental candidate Bilal Aliyev are also engaged in exit poll in this district.
At many polling stations of the region the ruling party's activists electioneer for Bilal Aliyev.-0-
REPORTS ABOUT VIOLATION OF LAW IN SHEKI, GAKH AND ZAGATALA REGIONS
SHEKI/06.11.05/TURAN: Voting in Sheki, Gakh and Zagatala regions is marred by serious violations of law. At polling station No 42 in Sheki region electoral district No 41 about 80 sick people have requested to bring ballot boxes to their homes. But it has been established during verification that applications have been written by one person and there are only four sick people in this district. At polling station No 39 in the same district 220 applications have been handed in by sick people and only 23 of them were really sick and only 6 of 23 applications handed in by sick people at polling station No 37 were valid. Soldiers called up to military service three months ago voted at polling station No 40 in Sheki region electoral district No 115, though the law envisages term of permanent residence of at least six months.
At polling station No 40 in Gakh region electoral district No 112 in Alibeyli village Viktor Muradishvili, observer from Azadlig bloc, has not been allowed to the station.
At polling station No 1 in the same electoral district Alovsat Bayramov, representative of Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Youth, at polling station No 2 Nasimi Mustafayev, deputy chief physician of local hospital, and at polling station No 14 Sheker Abdullayev, director of school No 2 in Gakh city, electioneered for candidate Azer Kerimli.
At polling station No 23 in Zagatala region electoral district No 111 voting started without preliminary counting of ballot papers.-0-
BLATANT VIOLATIONS OF LAW REGISTERED IN SABUNCHI REGION ELECTORAL DISTRICT NO 28
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Numerous blatant violations of law have been registered in Sabunchi region electoral district No 28. A source from electoral headquarters of candidate Rauf Arifoglu told TURAN that in this district observers are not allowed to polling stations, ballot papers are not counted and executive authorities demand that electors should vote for certain candidates and etc.-0--
BY 12.00 O'CLOCK ABOUT 19% ELECTORS TOOK PART IN VOTING
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: By 12.00 o'clock a total of 848,211 electors or 18.34% took part in voting, Igbal Babayev, CEC Secretary, said at a briefing for journalists. He added that by 10.00 a.m. 6% of electors came to polling stations to give their votes.
This data has been received from 5,137 polling stations, but CEC did not register serious violations of law, said Babayev.-0-
ETIBAR MAMEDOV: "NEW POLICY" BLOC TO STRUGGLE AGAINST FALSIFICATIONS BY LEGAL METHODS
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Etibar Mamedov, leader of National Independence party, co-founder of Yeni Siyaset bloc, voted at polling station No 28 in Yasamal region electoral district No 15 at about 1.00 p.m.
He refrained from any comments on the voting procedure and said it is too early to give any assessment. "Electors become active only after 11.00 a.m," he said. Asked which measures the bloc is going to take, in case of falsifications, Mamedov answered that they take measures stipulated by the law. He evaded the question if the bloc is going to stage demonstrations, just saying that violations must be documented at first.
Questioned whether the bloc will coordinate its actions with other opposition parties, Mamedli answered that "they exchange information."-0-
BLATANT VIOLATION OF VOTING PROCEDURE REGISTERED IN GANJA
GANJA/06.11.05/TURAN: By 12.00 o'clock 21,386 electors of 14.1% of total number of all electors (151,157) voted at four electoral districts in Ganja. Voting is in progress at 109 polling stations, of which six ones are closed. A total of 1,574 persons empowered to act for candidates for parliament, journalists, representatives of political parties, public organizations and 15 foreign observers with Andreas Gross, rapporteur of PACE Monitoring Group on Azerbaijan, among them monitor elections.
As TURAN's correspondent reports from the region, representatives of candidate Chingiz Sadyhov accuse chairman of election commission of polling station No 1 in electoral district No 37 hinder election monitoring process. As a result it becomes impossible to check if electors fingers are marked with special inks. At electoral district No 40 buses bring electors to the polling stations for repeated voting. The number of one of the buses is 20AD194.
Measure are taken at electoral district No 39 to prevent normal control over elections.
At several polling stations electors are not allowed to vote, due to absence of their names in the electors' lists.-0-
BLATANT VIOLATION OF LAW REGISTERED IN MINGECHAVIR
MINGECHAVIR/06.11.05/TURAN: Blatant violation of voting procedure was registered at Mingechavir electoral district No 47 by 12.00 o'clock. Employees of municipal services, employees of local branch of Ministry of Youth and Sports and policemen openly electioneer for Aydyn Mirzazade, candidate from ruling party Yeni Azerbaijan. They also bring electors to the polling stations by buses. 15,000 refugees, who must vote at Aghdam-Agjabedi electoral district No 83, live in this district. Executive authorities hand in ballot papers to refugees forcing them to vote at this district. The facts of pressure on observers have been also registered here. At polling station No 25 in electoral district No 47 Elmir Bandaliyev, observer from Azadlig bloc, was not permitted to monitor elections.-0--
AZERBAIJANI AUTHORITIES PREVENTED SEVERAL UKRAINIAN DEMOCRATS FROM ENTERING COUNTRY
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Last evening Azerbaijani authorities prevented several Ukrainian democrats from entering from the country. Sergei Taran, Director of Kiev-based International Institute of Democracy, was detained in Baku airport and declared persona non grata.
Taran said agents of National Security Ministry told him that he is prohibited from entering the country, because he is "an undesirable person."
Sergei Taran has arrived in Azerbaijan at the invitation of Musavat party to attend round table on democracy problems.
Several more Ukrainian citizens arrived from Kiev by the same flight have been also detained. Yevgenii Zolotarev, one of leaders of Pora (It's Time) movement, is among them.-0-
NGOS ABOUT VIOLATION OF VOTING PROCEDURE
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Independent Centre For Consultations and Assistance "For Civil Society" reports about violation of voting procedure. Among them are:
- preventing observers from preliminary ballot papers counting;
- police interference into work of commissions and removal of opposition activists from polling stations;
- preventing observers from electors' marking procedure;
- executive authorities' interference into voting procedure;
- electors' marking by strange people;
- voting by people non-registered in electors' lists.
New Policy bloc has reported that at polling stations No 10 and 11 in Yasamal region electoral district No 15 electors are not marked, because of broken detector. In this district people are brought to the polling stations by buses to vote several times. Policemen electioneer for Gular Ahmedova, representative of ruling party.
Chief physician of children policlinic No 20 demanded that the employees should vote for the ruling party's member at the nearest polling station. Coordination Consultative Council of NGO Coalition "For Free and Fair Elections" reported that the campaign for pro-governmental candidates continues in front of polling stations. Electors are handed already filled ballot papers and ID cards are issued to citizens near polling stations.-0-
LALA SHOVKET INTENDS TO STRUGGLE AGAINST FALSIFICATIONS JOINTLY WITH AZADLIG BLOC
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Liberal party's leader Lala Shovket voted at polling station No 3 in Sabail region electoral district No 29 at 2.00 p.m.
She told journalists that she is not sure that elections will be democratic. She added that the election campaign, which started four months ago, was marred by pressure and repression of opposition and candidates for parliament had unequal conditions. Executive authorities interfered into electoral process in all the districts and supported pro-governmental candidates.
As far as voting process is concerned, mass violations usually occur after closure of polling stations.
Shovket said that if elections are falsified, Liberal party would carry on struggle by peaceful and constitutional methods.
She answered in the affirmative to the question about possibility of struggle against falsifications jointly with Azadlig bloc.-0-
U.S. SUPPORTS OPPOSITION'S RIGHT TO STAGE DEMONSTRATIONS AFTER NOVEMBER 7
BAKU/06.11.05/TURAN: Rino Harnish, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, has visited today several polling stations, including Narimanov region electoral district No 19, Narimanov region electoral district No 20, Khatai region electoral district No 34 and several others.
Ambassador has met with observers, members of election commissions and people holding exit polls. Ambassador has been informed about violation of voting procedure in these districts.
Ambassador told journalists that U.S. attaches a special importance to democratic elections in Azerbaijan and U.S. State Department confirmed that yesterday. He added that 40 embassy's employees monitor voting in various Azerbaijani regions. "We assisted Azerbaijani government to acquire marking inks. We hope that population will take an active part in elections," Harnish said. There were both positive and negative moments in the election campaign. It's too early to speak about course of voting. We could assess course of voting as soon as receive information from the embassy's employees, said Harnish.
He said the U.S. government once again urged Azerbaijani government to respect right to freedom of assemblies and supported opposition's right to stage demonstrations after November 7.-0-