First reform failure

No official in Azerbaijan has ever promised democratism and transparency in municipal election. Nor promised strict legality of December 23 municipal elections and penalty for falsifiers. This notwithstanding, dismissal of two top officials from their posts and arrest of three heads of regional administrations inspired certain hopes in the hearts of citizens. However, yesterday it has all come to nothing.

Particular emphasis has to be laid on the fact that the elections were notable for greater activity than before: 33 percent of voters. Also, young people among 42, 000 writes-in proved to be more than ever.

Note that major disappointment began from the ground-up of the election process.  It is worth pointing out that the «municipal elections passed with numerous gross violations and falsifications. A video caught a stuffing with sham voting bulletins at one of polling stations. Also, there are other video-evidences of electoral fraud», said political emigrant Chinghiz Sultansoy, currently residing in Germany.

Added to this can be several video-recordings of electoral falsifications which showed cruise voting, stuffing the ballot boxes, attacks on journalists giving coverage to the municipal elections, etc. The Central Election Commission noted that the said video-facts in social network would be investigated. However, even if the results of voting at the said polling stations are cancelled, it won’t affect the voting results across the country.

A list of electoral winners is deficient in video-blogger Mehman Huseynov, best known for his unfair conviction and imprisonment. According to CIC site official report, blogger Mehman Huseynov failed to be elected a municipality member of 31st –second Surakhany district. Huseynov declared that the results of voting were falsified and his election observers were not allowed to counting of votes.

The point to be emphasized is that the authorities promised nothing, yet, «hopes were high». It was common belief that the elections would be held transparently; the competition would be fair; views and will of citizens would be taken into account.

However, the elections were falsified again. As the saying goes, much the same as usual…, writes journalist Nijat Ismailov.

«We were in need of changes. However, people’s expectations on the election of deserved leaders of towns and regions to serve their people.  Damage was inflicted on intensification of municipal power, population’s attraction to the elections, expectations on democratization of society and state, creation of new relations between the people and the government.  Dreams crashed, all of us – people and power, dishonored our future, N. Ismailov inferred.

Alas, the government failed in ordinary exam. Thousands of young people believed in changes but got the short end of the stick and became government’s enemy. A disgrace at the municipal elections makes it possible to forecast prospects of preterm parliamentary elections on February 9, 2020. Some potential candidates to the Milli Majlis elections expected results of the municipal elections to thus make a decision on their nominations. It’s becoming clear now that it’d be meaningless to spend funds and time for deputy’s seat without instructions from above.