Anastasia Lavrina: “Elections to be held in a transparent environment will give an additional impetus to the democratic development of Azerbaijan”
Political analyst, deputy chairperson of the Russian Community of Azerbaijan Anastasia Lavrina has assessed the preparatory process for the parliamentary elections to be held on February 9, as well as election environment, and the country’s experience in this area during the interview with the "Secki-2020" Independent Media Center.
-Next parliamentary elections will be held in Azerbaijan on February 9. How do you asses the preparatory process for the elections and the election environment in the country?
- The reforms carried out in Azerbaijan, the appointment of young, educated people to high positions, as well as dissolution of the parliament create favorable opportunities for young people to demonstrate their potential. This is an important factor. Currently we see a great number of candidates in the elections. The pre-election campaign is also being effectively conducted. The voters should see what innovations and ideas for regional development the candidates offer. Of course, this is important for voters to choose his or her candidate. I think live communication is necessary during the pre-election campaign. Of course, there are some passive candidates as well. They prefer online campaigning to face-to-face communication with the voters. In general, we are observing an exciting and healthy competition.
- Do you think the existing election law of Azerbaijan and the electoral experience of the country pave the way for conducting the February 9 elections in a democratic and transparent manner?
- Firstly, I must say that during the elections held in the years of independence, Azerbaijan has earned an extensive experience. Each time elections are held more professionally than before. International observation missions note this in their reports. A great deal of international observers will visit Azerbaijan in these elections too. This is, in fact, a great opportunity to present the achievements that have been made in the country towards the strengthening of democracy, as well as the protection of human rights.
I believe that these elections would also be held in a transparent and objective manner. Apart from that, I am confident that the parliamentary elections would further strengthen Azerbaijan's position in the international arena. In recent years, major events have been held with the involvement and in some cases, with the organization of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has currently become a platform where the issues of vital importance to global politics are discussed. I believe that the parliamentary elections that will be held in a democratic and transparent environment will give an additional impetus to the democratic development of Azerbaijan.
I had the opportunity to monitor the presidential election on April 11, 2018 in Garadagh district. We visited several constituencies where the conditions and preparations for the elections were at a high level. Apart from that, we observed high voter turnout during the voting. People used to come to the polling stations as they believed that democratic principles were adhered to in the country. Each candidate was provided with equal rights and opportunities in these parliamentary elections too. I believe that these elections would also be as free and fair as the previous ones.