Leonid Kalashnikov tells the truth about Azerbaijan elections
The parliamentary elections of the sixth convocation were held in Azerbaijan yesterday. Chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots, Leonid Kalashnikov, who observed the elections, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the voting.
First of all, he emphasized the high competition for the Milli Majlis seats. "The elections were great. They were really competitive - 11 people competed for every deputy's seat. Even in Russia we don’t see this often," Leonid Kalashnikov said.
The elections were certainly open. "I don’t know what the results will be, but for me as an observer it was important to understand whether these elections were open. Yes, there were. That there were about 80 thousand observers in these elections, of which nearly 900 were from other countries - that's a lot for a country with a population of 10 million. there were 250 observers from the CIS countries alone," he said.
"The single conclusion of CIS observers is that the elections were fair, open and democratic. As far as I can tell, there is a rise of new people to all authorities - to the Presidential Administration, to the government, now to parliament. Surely, Milli Majlis will be updated and young people will become MPs," Leonid Kalashnikov stressed.
At the same time, the Russian MP expressed confidence that a number of European observers will try to give negative assessments to the Azerbaijani elections. "I am absolutely convinced that this will be the case. Not so long ago I listened to the report on the elections in Belarus at the Council of Europe: first it said that everything was remarkably organized, that now it's much better than it was, but the conclusion was 'unsatisfactory'. We can expect that the same will be the case with Azerbaijan," he warned.