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No threats to fair, democratic election in Azerbaijan - Bulgarian expert 

Ilhama Isabalayeva
Trend News agency, 29.03.2018

"The pre-election situation in Azerbaijan is stable, and there are no threats to the electorate’s free expression of the will, as well as to holding fair and democratic election, Omurtag Petkov, a Bulgarian analyst invited by Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission (CEC) to observe the presidential election to be held April 11 in Azerbaijan, said.
“Constant work is being carried out with the voter lists, they are updated and specified,” he added. “Despite that not all candidates who failed to register have agreed with the decision of the CEC, the process of nominating and registering candidates as a whole can be assessed positively.’

“Monitoring of the media shows that media outlets in their articles give more credit to one of the candidates, the incumbent president,” Petkov said. “However, the content analysis of the articles showed that this is not due to Ilham Aliyev’s election campaign, but because of the coverage of his activities as the incumbent president.”

Petkov added that during the monitoring conducted so far there were no facts of serious violation of the electoral law or unequal conditions for the candidates.

“The right to freedom of assembly is ensured,” he said. “GISDI experts considered the issue of boycotting the election by some political forces and compared them with similar cases of 2008. GISDI experts believe that the pre-election conditions and the legislative base ensure holding of fair and democratic election. In general, GISDI states that Azerbaijan has the necessary conditions for holding democratic and fair election in line with international standards.”

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