Jean-Luc Reitzer: "Azerbaijan is gradually following the path of democratization"
Today Azerbaijan is holding snap elections of the sixth convocation of the Milli Majlis, which are accredited by 883 observers representing 59 international organizations, in particular the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), CIS, SCO , Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). French parliamentarian, vice-president of the France-Azerbaijan friendship group, Jean-Luc Reitz, spoke to Vestnik Kavkaza about organization of elections and reforms in Azerbaijan.
- What is your impression of the organization of the elections to the Azerbaijani parliament?
- Everything is very well organized. We saw lists of all the candidates, all the voting rules, a list of all processes undergoing. We see that a large group of well-trained specialists is involved in the organization. Nothing prevents voters from going into the voting booth to make their choice based on their own preferences.
- What is the relationship between the French and Azerbaijani parliamentarians?
- It is expected that the new composition of the Milli Majlis will have more young people, more women. Azerbaijani parliament will look more like French. As the vice-president of the France-Azerbaijan friendship group, I often visit Baku. We have formed close ties with this city, and we want to deepen this cooperation even more.
A large Armenian diaspora lives in France, so it is important that the French - both society and politicians - can hear the opinion of Azerbaijan and understand its position.
We very much hope that French President Emmanuel Macron will be able to visit Baku to establish closer relations, because Azerbaijan plays a very big role in the stability of the region. Now Baku is trying to build its foreign policy, balancing between such large states as Russia, Iran, Turkey. The establishment of strong ties with these states is a great merit of the President of Azerbaijan.
- What do you expect from the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan?
- Now there is an electoral process that will positively affect relations with France. I would like to emphasize that it took France 200 years to form a real democratic process. I think it’s completely normal when the country is gradually moving in this direction. 25 years ago, I was an observer here in the elections, and today I see great progress.