Local Elections

Preliminary report on the 23 December Municipal Elections

EMDS's observation of the municipal elections demonstrates that the elections were held in an environment with severe restriction of political freedoms, lack of equal and authentic opportunities for competition, and widespread violations during voting and vote-counting processes. The elections were marred with the lack of alternative choices and therefore did not adhere to the requirements of the national legislation and international standards of free and fair elections and did not represent the true will of Azerbaijani public.


EPDE Publication

Comparative study on conditions for citizen election observation in the EU–EaP and Russia


This comparative analysis by Tatyana Hilscher-Bogussevich of conditions for citizen election observers in the Eastern Neighborhood has found that Russia ranks the worst since there are no legal provisions allowing for civil society to be directly accredited as election observers. There is a similarly restrictive environment in Azerbaijan and Belarus. Other countries of the region rank better and generally facilitate citizen observation, however issues still remain. This study is a first in a series based on the newly launched Catalogue of Recommendations on Electoral Reform.


Local Elections

Report on the preparation to and political situation prior to the 27 December 2019 Municipal Elections

EMDS believes that the authorities failed to address shortcomings of the Election Code despite the repeated calls and recommendations of domestic organizations, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the OSCE/ODIHR. In this report, EMDS assessed the preparations to the 27 December 2019 Municipal Elections and found that: fair composition of election commissions, effective protection mechanisms of the election right, preventing illegal interference with the electoral process, improving regulations for registration of candidates and shortcomings in voter lists remain unaddressed.


Catalogue of recommendations on electoral reform

Analysis on conditions for citizen observation


Analysis including recent reports and recommendations by citizen observer organizations, open source information, and the newly developed Catalogue of Recommendations. Overall findings: Conditions for election observation, both in legislation and in practice, and attitudes towards it vary considerably from country to country. An observed rise in politically-motivated domestic observation can be noted, seriously damaging any credible non-partisan election observation.



EMDS Report

Final Report concerning the early Presidential Election in Azerbaijan

The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) published the final findings of its observation of the April 11, 2018 Presidential election in Azerbaijan covering all major election processes – the nomination of candidates, pre-election campaigning, election day voting and vote counting.


EMDS Report

Fact Sheet-2018 On the Human Rights Situation in Azerbaijan

The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) prepared a report on the situation of human rights in Azerbaijan covering the year 2018 based on publicly available and alternative sources of information. Their conclusion is that there has not been any progress in the situation of human rights in Azerbaijan in 2018.


Presidential Election

EMDS preliminary statement on findings of monitoring the Presidential Election

On Election Day, EMDS recorded widespread, serious election violations that undermined voting and counting processes. This included voting without registration in 47% of polling stations, ballot-box stuffing in 53% of polling stations, and multiple voting in 53% of polling stations.  Only 8% of polling stations were free of major violations. The organization also received reports of pressure and harassment towards observers and journalists who were raising concerns about violations or attempting to monitor the counting process.


Presidential Election

On the scheduling of the early Presidential Election in Azerbaijan on 11 April 2018


The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) analysed the legal-political environment in connection with the scheduling of the early Presidential Election in Azerbaijan on 11 April 2018 and concluded that although the presidential decree on bringing the election to a earlier date is in line with the Constitution and the Election Code of the country, it is against the principles of democratic constitutionalism and periodicity of elections. 


EMDS Assessment Report

Assessment report on implementation status of recommendations on improvement of electoral process in Azerbaijan


The report, carried out by EPDE member EMDS, analyzes the situation of the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association which are the prerequisites for establishment of an environment conducive for democratic elections as recommended by the OSCE/ODIHR. EMDS notes with regret that the government has taken steps towards restricting freedom of expression on the internet. In March 2017, the law was amended allowing the government and courts to block websites granting them almost unlimited powers.


Constitutional Referendum in Azerbaijan

Assessment report on preparation and result of the 26 September constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan


EMDS believes that comprehensive assessment of 26 September 2016 Referendum requires consideration of all stages of the referendum including evaluation of awareness raising among public on proposed amendments, political situation and conditions prior to the referendum, the election legislation, conduct of the Referendum Day and vote tabulation against the legislation of the country and its international commitments. EMDS notes there was no significant improvements in the fields of freedoms of speech, association and assembly.


Parliamentary Elections

Final Report


EPDE carried out long-term observation of the November 1, 2015, Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan with support of more than 50 local long-term observers (LTOs) and local civil society activists in more than 80 election constituencies around the country. EPDE notes with regret that the November 1, 2015, Parliamentary Elections were carried out amidst numerous incidents of political imprisonment and gross violations of freedoms to assembly, association, and expression.


Parliamentary Elections

Analysis of the Activity of International Monitoring Missions


EPDE expresses its concern over international election observation missions delegitimizing the institution of election observation as well as damaging the reputation of those parliaments and international institutions that they represent. According to an EPDE survey of the work of international election observation missions during the Parliamentary elections on November 1, 2015, in Azerbaijan, none of the 40 officially registered international missions conducted a long-term election observation in the country. 


Constitutional Referendum

Armenian Election Monitoring Groups protest against pushing forward constitutional reform by the presidential administration


On September 4, 2013, President Serzh Sargsyan made a unilateral decision to introduce amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia. The referendum was pushed forward by the authorities rather quickly and aggressively. Many international standards for referendums, as set forth in Venice Commission’s Code of Good Practice on Referendums (2007) are not observed. 


Human Dimension Meeting of ODIHR

Harassment of Independent Citizens’ Election Observers – Challenges for international Institutions and Civil Society


EPDE is alarmed about the increasing harassment of citizens' election observers in the ODIHR region. EPDE members in Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation and Belarus are affected by intimidation of staff members, criminal persecution, non-registration of the organisations or of labelling of the organisation as "foreign agents". Authoritarian regimes "copy and paste" laws to restrict the watchdog function of independent election observers. EPDE has organised a discussion on the Human Dimension Meeting of ODIHR in Warsaw 25 September 2015.