EMDS issued a statement regarding the snap presidential elections
The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) has assessed the legal and political environment concerning holding the extraordinary presidential election on February 7, 2024. It observes that while the decree to hold the election 14 months before the time was in line with the Election Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, these measures do not adhere to the principles of periodicity in elections and democratic constitutionalism.
EMDS regrettably informs that currently, approximately 200 political prisoners, encompassing journalists, social activists, and members of political parties, are being held in prison. Measures restricting freedom of expression, exemplified by the recent enactments of the “On Media” and “On Political Parties” laws, along with the suppression of independent Internet TV and blocking of websites, as well as the massive persecution of social media activists, significantly constrain citizen participation in the extraordinary presidential election.
These actions pose challenges to establishing democratic conditions regarding the electoral process. At the same time, continued legal and political pressures against civil society and human rights organizations have exhausted the opportunities for civil society organizations to work on voter education, protection of electoral rights, and organization of local election observation.