The statement calls for the bill to be removed from the agenda and improved
A group of socio-political activists and human rights defenders operating in Azerbaijan made a statement regarding the draft law “On Political Parties” that was brought up for discussion by the Milli Majlis.
The signatories of the document consider the draft law to be a reactionary document containing provisions that restrict the right to participate in the public life in the country and the freedom of association. At the same time, they consider the adoption of the project as the next political act aimed at stifling the free political will of the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The authors of the statement believe that in the new draft law, provisions regarding the establishment, registration, financing, monitoring of the activity, suspension or termination of the political party, etc. are unacceptable for a country whose opportunities for political activity are getting limited year by year. They declare that the draft law “On political parties” does not meet the basic principles of the Council of Europe, which the country is a member of, including the requirements of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“We consider the refusal of the Azerbaijani authorities to receive the opinion of the Council of Europe Commission on Democracy (Venice) to determine the compliance of the draft law with European standards as a rejection of democracy,” the statement emphasizes.
The signatories of the document consider the right of Azerbaijani citizens to participate in political life and freedom of association to be important and irreplaceable, and consider it necessary to implement the following in relation to the mentioned project:
• The new draft law submitted for consideration by the Milli Majlis should be removed from the agenda;
• The law “On political parties” currently in force should be improved taking into account the rules and recommendations drawn up by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE for the regulation of political parties in member countries;
• The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly and other structures, instead of following the inaction of the Azerbaijani government, should use their powers to give an opinion of the Venice Commission before the adoption of the law on the current project.
The statement was made by Akif Gurbanov, head of the Institute of Democratic Initiatives (IDI), Anar Mammadli, head of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Education Center, Azer Gasimli, director of the Institute of Political Management, political activists Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, Ruslan Izzatli, Bashir Suleymanli, head of the Civil Rights Institute, economists Rovshan Agayev, Elchin Rashid, Togrul Valiyev, political commentators Elman Fattah, Shahin Jafarli, former diplomat, political activist Emin Ibrahimov, lawyers Agil Layj, Alasgar Mammadli, Annagi Hajibeyli, Fariz Namazli, Khalid Agaliyev, Intigam Aliyev, Nemat Karimli, Samad Rahimli, Shahla Humbatova, Yalchin Imanov, Zibeyda Sadigova, co-founders of “Defense Line” Human Rights Organization Rufat Safarov, Zaur Akbar, head of “Law Platform” Initiative Group Samir Kazimli,It was signed by the head of the Women’s Society for Rational Development Shahla Ismail and historian Yadigar Sadığli.
On November 29, the draft law “On political parties” passed the first reading at the meeting of the National Assembly . Among the deputies, only the representative of the ReAL Party, Erkin Gadirli, voted against the project.