The European Union said it took note of the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission concerning the early presidential elections that took place in the Republic of Azerbaijan on 7 February.
These were the first elections held across the entire territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev was re-elected for his fifth term in office.
According to the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the elections took place within a restrictive political environment and under laws that curtail fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of assembly, expression and media.
“While the preparations for the elections were efficiently managed, the stifling of critical voices and the absence of political alternatives marked the electoral process,” said a statement by the European External Action Service. “The election day was calm and overall orderly, but the observers reported widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, a lack of transparency and numerous serious irregularities.”
The European Union also reiterated its expectations that the Azerbaijani authorities would take on board and implement the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in relation to these and previous elections.
“The EU remains engaged in dialogue and cooperation with Azerbaijan, including on good governance, human rights and the rule of law, for the benefit of the people of Azerbaijan,” says the statement.
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