The Azerbaijani pro opposition forum “Public Chamber” will this week hold a round table discussion on the electoral code of Azerbaijan. Ahead of the meeting CEWs Karina Gould interviewed Razi Nurullayev, the Deputy-chairperson for Foreign Affairs of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Board of Directors at “REGION” International Analytical Centre (RIAC).
CEW: What is the motivation behind the organization of the round table discussions this upcoming week?
RN: The round table discussions will take place on 21 June, 2012 in Baku and are being organized by the pro-democracy opposition group, the Public Chamber of Azerbaijan (PC). The PC emerged in the aftermath of the October 2010 Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan, which left all of the major opposition parties outside of the legislative body without a single seat due to electoral fraud. The PC is taking on this initiative because it is able to bring together most of the political parties, civil society, experts, academics and individual activists in Azerbaijan. More…
Georgian Education Minister Dimitri
Shashkin is blamed for political
victimisation of opposition supporters
ahead of next October’s elections
Georgia’s education system has been gripped by tension over the last weeks amidst continued reports of victimisation of staff members who are supporters of opposition parties, or who have relatives who are involved in opposition party politics.
The issue came to a head when the Minister of Education, Dimitri Shashkin at the end of May, dismissed the Chairman of the National Examinations Centre, Maya Miminoshvili, days after her son attended an opposition rally in Tbilisi. The issue turned into a crisis after more than half of the staff at the National Examinations Centre subsequently resigned in protest just weeks before nation-wide university entry exams. More…
Issues surrounding the voters’ list that have marred previous elections in Georgia – multiple entries, the persistence of deceased voters, and errors in voter information – continue to cause anxiety and low confidence in the democratic process amongst stakeholders and the Georgian electorate.
In an effort to increase confidence in the process a state funded commission was established last year with a view to ascertain the accuracy of the list. The Voters List Verification Commission (VLVC) is chaired by Mamuka Katsitadze of the New Rights Party, and consists of members of ruling party and some opposition parties’ representatives, as well as representatives from several civil society groups.
August 1, 2012 is set as a deadline for the commission to complete voter list rechecking after which the list should be handed over to the Central Election Commission (CEC). The VLVC is also authorized to continue monitoring the voters’ lists after August 1. The Commission launched door-to-door campaign on April 24 as part of rechecking the accuracy of the voter register ahead of the October parliamentary elections. 11,100 field observers, known as registrants, recruited by the VLVC, were tasked to visit every household in Georgia to ensure accuracy of the list. More…
The EU flag flies outside the building of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi.
The 14th EU-Georgia Parliamentary Co-operation Committee met in Tbilisi on 2-3 May 2012 under the Chairmanship of David Darchiashvili, representing the Georgian Parliament and Milan Cabrnoch representing the European Parliament. The meeting approved a document entitled “Final Statement and Recommendations, pursuant to Article 89 of the EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement” which includes 37 articles covering a range of issues. More…
The voters list has once more emerged as one of the main problems connected with Armenian elections. Opposition activists accuse the Armenian government of artificially inflating the voter’s list by several hundred thousand voters as part of organised election fraud. The issue is somewhat more complicated, but many questions remain.
On 25 April 2012 the Armenian Passports and Visas Department (PVD) of the Armenian Police, the entity that is responsible to compile the country’s election list, published the names of those entitled to vote in the May 6 elections. The list had 2,482,238 names. After some adjustments in the days prior to the elections, the final election list on the eve of the election included 2,484,003 names.
This figure immediately triggered an outcry from opposition parties who questioned how there could be in 2012 more than 150,000 additional voters in Armenia then in 2008, when it was common knowledge that the population of the country had decreased as a result of outward migration during the recent economic crisis. More…
Parliament of Georgia
Georgia’s ruling party, the United National Movement, is pushing ahead with a constitutional change that will bring Georgia in line with progressive European countries.An initiative of the UNM aims at revising the Constitution of Georgia by lowering the age at which one can stand for a parliamentary seat from 25 to 21 years. The public discussion period for draft amendments has concluded, and a discussion on the results of these meetings took place in Parliament on May 7, where it was recommended that the initiative enter the standard legislative process. More…