Azerbaijani parliamentary election, 2010

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Parliamentary elections were held in Azerbaijan on 7 November 2010.[1][2]

Candidates[edit]

The registration of candidates ended on 15 October.[3] Although 2,500 candidates filed application to run in the election, only 690 were given the go ahead by the electoral commission.[4]

Conduct[edit]

The elections were observed by monitors from the European Parliament, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe. OSCE stated that the election campaign had been marred by restrictions on media freedom and freedom of assembly. Many opposition candidates were unable to register themselves, thus creating an "uneven playing field", according to the OSCE.[5] The pre-election atmosphere was tense with the media complaining of pressure and intransparent financial transactions of state officials.[6][7][8]

Many national and foreign experts found no major improvement in the conduct of these elections. No elections after 1992 was fully in accordance with national and international democratic standards. So far Azerbaijan has been convicted twice of election fraud during the 2005 parliamentary elections by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In April it was regarding Nemat Aliyev's case,[9] and in September regarding Flora Karimova's.[10] More cases are expected to be decided soon.

At short notice Azerbaijan decided to stop issuing visas at the airport for holders of ordinary passports. This would reduce the number of foreigners in Azerbaijan during the elections. People familiar with the past visa practice expressed their opinion that this was the aim.[11]

Results[edit]

President Ilham Aliyev's ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party got a majority of 71 out of 125 seats. Nominally independent candidates, who were aligned with the government, received 38 seats, and 10 small opposition or quasi-opposition parties got the remaining 13 seats. Civic Solidarity retained its 3 seats, and Ana Vaten kept the 2 seats they had in the previous legislature; the Democratic Reforms party, Great Creation, the Movement for National Rebirth, Umid, Civic Unity, Civic Welfare, Adalet (Justice), and the Popular Front of United Azerbaijan, most of which were represented in the previous parliament, won one seat a piece.[12]

For the first time in Azerbaijani history, not a single candidate from the main opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front (AXCP) or Musavat parties was elected.[12] The opposition Musavat decried the election as "illegitimate...[the] events had nothing to do with elections, it was the most shameful kind of election." Ruling president, Aliyev, however, said the election was fair.[5]

The Central Election Commission said turnout was 50.1%, out of a total 4.9 million people eligible to vote. Opposition leaders suggested the low turnout was due to candidate disqualifications by the CEC, and consequent discouragements to vote after their choice of candidate was excluded.[4]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
New Azerbaijan Party 1,110,885 46.48 71 +10
Musavat 47,942 2.01 0 –5
Civic Solidarity Party 46,512 1.95 3 0
Motherland Party 33,275 1.39 2 0
Classic Popular Front Party 31,317 1.31 0
Azerbaijani Popular Front Party 28,719 1.2 0 –1
Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party 24,499 1.03 1 0
Azerbaijan National Independence Party 23,141 0.97 0
Party of Hope 21,605 0.9 1 0
Azerbaijan Social Prosperity Party 18,073 0.76 1 0
Great Order Party 17,389 0.73 1 0
Justice Party 12,761 0.53 1 0
Citizen and Development Party 11,170 0.47 0
Democratic Azerbaijan World Party 11,110 0.46 0
Civic Unity Party 10,169 0.43 1 0
Azerbaijan Democratic Party 7,662 0.32 0 0
Azerbaijan Communist Party 6,942 0.29 0
Intellectuals Party 5,647 0.24 0
Party for Democratic Reforms 5,555 0.23 1 0
Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan 4,402 0.18 0
Azerbaijan People's Party 3,670 0.15 0
Azerbaijan Progress Party 3,642 0.15 0
Modern Equality Party 3,349 0.14 0
Azerbaijan Liberal Party 2,224 0.09 0
Unity Party 2,186 0.09 0
Azerbaijan National Democrat Party 1,209 0.05 0
Freedom Party 1,088 0.05 0
Azerbaijan Free Republicans Party 820 0.03 0
Great Azerbaijan Party 750 0.03 0
Azerbaijan Evolution Party 306 0.01 0
Azerbaijan National Statehood Party 104 0.00 0
National Salvation Party 94 0.00 0
Azerbaijan Democratic Enlightenment Party 55 0.00 0
Affiliation not indicated 40,688 1.7 3 0
Independents 850,870 35.6 39 –4
Total 2,389,830 100 125 0
Registered voters/turnout 4,922,600
Source: Election Passport

Reactions[edit]

Western observers[5] and the opposition alleged irregularities.[13] The elections were observed by monitors from the European Parliament, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe. The OSCE reported that on election day there were cases of ballot-stuffing.[5]

References[edit]