Ilyas Umakhanov: Azerbaijan holding open, honest and democratic presidential election
Azerbaijan people vote today at the early presidential election in favor of the country's future, development and stability, the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Ilyas Umakhanov said, who is engaged in observing the voting process in the Azerbaijani presidential election within the CIS PA observation mission, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reported.
"First of all, I want to say that the international community's high interest in the election of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan is evidenced by a large number of international observers, in particular from a number of international organizations, including the OSCE. The CIS is very solidly represented - the Executive Committee, the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth, a number of national parliaments are represented here. This is largely due to the general interest in Azerbaijan as one of the most dynamically developing states in the post-Soviet space," he noted in the first place.
Ilyas Umakhanov drew attention to changes in the electoral legislation of the republic. "I was lucky to participate in the observation of the elections since 1998, and I can say that there have been serious positive changes in the national legislation of Azerbaijan regarding the electoral rights of citizens and equal opportunities for presidential candidates to participate in the pre-election race. Including the right of representatives of the opposition to participate in the work of precinct election commissions, up to 30%," the senator explained.
According to him, the CIA PA observation mission will visit about 80 district commissions today. "We took part in the opening of the polling stations from the morning, and there were huge queues at 8:00 am. That is, one can expect that the voter turnout will be high. For voters, elections are always a feeling of hope for the best, and we got the impression that people go to polling stations in a good mood, with confidence in the future, which means stable development, stability and prosperity of Azerbaijan," Ilyas Umakhanov said.
He appreciated the organization of the election. "There is a very clear organization of the election process – well-equipped polling stations, good facilities, and an opportunity to vote freely, openly and transparently. Finally, these are very good conditions for the work of international observers who have not encountered any obstacles, both in terms of communicating with members of the commission and with voters, after they have made their choice. So I can say that the presidential election in Azerbaijan is a good example of open, honest and democratic elections," the senator emphasized.
Answering the Vestnik Kavkaza question about the development of the Russian-Azerbaijani relations after the elections, the deputy chairman of the Federation Council expressed confidence that they will only be strengthened. "I am very optimistic about the future and the present of relations between our states, because they are consistently developing. I represent Dagestan, and there is a very large group of observers from the Russian regions in this election. Our contacts are actively developing through cross-border, interregional cooperation. Of course, the tone of these relations is set by the current president Ilham Aliyev and Russian president Vladimir Putin," Ilyas Umakhanov stressed.
Eight candidates were registered at the presidential election. Six candidates of them were nominated from political parties - Ilham Aliyev from the New Azerbaijan Party, Gudrat Hasanguliyev from the Whole Azerbaijani Popular Front Party, Araz Alizade from the Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, Faraj Guliyev from the National Revival Movement Party, Razi Nurullayev from the Frontists Initiative Group, Hafiz Hajiyev from the Modern Musavat Party, one was a self-nominee - Zahid Oruj - and one candidate was nominated from the Initiative Group - Sardar Mammadov from the Azerbaijan Democratic Party.