Azerbaijan: fundamental freedoms still a serious concern

Although describing the electoral process observed around the presidential election day in Azerbaijan (9 October 2013) as “free, fair and transparent”, PACE observers consider that fundamental freedoms remain “a serious concern” in the country. The report by Robert Walter (United Kingdom, EDG), debated today by the PACE Standing Committee in Vienna, stresses that the authorities must take steps to ensure freedom of expression and assembly are fully observed as part of the democratisation process.

The observers also calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to act on the Venice Commission’s recommendations concerning electoral legislation and encourages the development of a “strong and credible opposition” if the population is to be given a real choice in future elections