The Central Election Commission (CEC) will began an investigation into political parties that did not submit financial reports this year, says the CEC’s deputy chairman Natiq Mammadov.
According to him, “the current situation underscored the urgency of a detailed investigation of the issues of party building in Azerbaijan over the past 20 years. The adoption of administrative measures in connection with the failure to submit financial statements would be wrong. After conducting the main investigation and establishing the reasons, it will be possible to take the appropriate steps. That is, it is necessary to investigate not only the quality of financial reports, but also the issues of party building, the powers of governing bodies, the extent to which parties fulfill the requirements of legislation. For example, the chairmen of many parties have died, there are organizational problems left over as a result. After a thorough investigation, the appropriate measures will be taken. We have already started a comprehensive investigation”.
Of the 55 political parties registered in Azerbaijan, 16 did not submit to the CEC an annual financial report for 2016.
According to the law, political parties are required to submit annual financial statements together with the audit report no later than April 1. The CEC is obliged to inform the Ministry of Justice of political parties that fail to submit an annual financial report in the specified period in conjunction with the audit report. By April 1 of this year, 28 parties submitted financial reports. Another 11 parties submitted reports after.
Among those who did not submit reports are the Party of Revival and Progress, the National Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, the Party of Villagers of Azerbaijan, the United Party of Azerbaijan, the Independent Party of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan People’s Movement Party, the National State Party of Azerbaijan, the Party of Patriots of Azerbaijan, the Party of Democratic Owners of Azerbaijan, the Alliance Party in the Name of Azerbaijan, the Social Justice Party, the National Congress Party, the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan and the Party of Evolution of Azerbaijan.
Among the parties that passed the annual financial report is the opposition Azerbaijani Popular Front Party (APFP) under the leadership of Ali Kerimli. The Ministry of Justice however refused their report.
Political parties have been submitting financial reports to the CEC for the third year already.
Despite the fact that in previous years some parties did not submit a financial report, the CEC had up until now not applied to the Ministry of Justice.