Center for National and International Studies
FB users share the information on post-election protest rally of the opposition and independents, high level panel/dialogue of presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the Munich Security Conference, reaction to the 4 precincts voting results cancellation, continue to discuss the falsifications of parliamentary elections.
REAL, Musavat, NIDA, Hegiget and D18 movements members are reporting brutal dispersal of the public rally protesting falsification of the elections in front of the CEC building. They report 200 people detained – 40 of REAL, 56 of Musavat, the rest of NIDA, leftists, candidates, their defenders- taken to the distant deserted parts of the capital periphery and regions and left there on their own.
Yadigar Sadyghli comments with irony on this police actions: “ There was a project for our children some time ago, which is called “Discover our regions” The managers of that project seemed to earn a lot… Looks like this project is applied to our opposition too.”
Gubad Ibadoglu gives an assessment to the police dispersal of the protest rallyand arrests on the 16th. He writes, that this is a proof of the police regime in trhe counbtry. This leads to greater aggressiveness and alienation of people. The budget to the force ministries was increased 43,7% this year under the disguise of reforms of this sector. You cannot conduct reforms with people of feudal habit of hijacking opposition. Even the “new mechanisms” only differnece with the old ones, that before the detained activists were taken and thrown out in Gobustan, while now- to Kurdamir, Shamakha, or Yevlakh. ( more distant regions – L.A.).
Gubad Ibadoglu analyses Munich Security conference dialogue of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. He stresses that in terms of arguments Aliyev looked stronger, but in terms of the contemporary context, Azerbaijani position is weaker, because of the poor record of human rights and freedoms. That’s why the road to resolution of the Karabagh problem lies through democratisation. He argues, that Russia should be distanced from negotiations. He also thanks Osmangizi’s TV, who is much more effective in covering events, than all the official Baku TV channels with their multi million budget.
Seymur Hezi also comments on the Munchen Security conference meeting. He says that it was obvious that the two leaders’ speeches were expression of populism and aimed at their domestic constituencies. He regrets that foreign actors arrange and participate in such events and give these leaders, who are trying to deceive both their peoples and themselves, such an opportunity. He goes stating, that such dialogues, where Aliyev tries to convince the other side, that Karabagh is Azerbaijan’s land is a waste of time, because it is recognized by everyone, including international organizations. Instead he should avoid such debates and come up with the specific proposal and the deadline and before that he should democratise the country, create free market., stregnthen society. This will change the diplomatic and security balance in our favour Before that, any step in the direction of resolution will only serve the side which occupies our lands… “They say, that the time works for us, does it really? No! Because in all these years Azerbaijan failed to get support of any serious military bloc, failed to democratise the country, did not make an economic growth sustainable, did not get rid of monopolies. While Armenia – did it and on the way to economic revival, and as a result changed its international image of the state. Against this background Aliyev’s answers to Pashinian were not bad, but they will not play any role in return of the occupied lands”.
Ramis Yunus joins him in asserting the necessity to democratise in order to resolve the conflict, in order to deprive Armenia of the main argument. “ Otherwise who will believe Azerbaijan, where the human rights of the Azerbaijan are violated, freedoms are not provided, people are suffering in prisons, and the freedom of assembly and association is violated?”
Samir Kazimli also comments on this dialogue and writes on his timeline: “ Pashinian did not bring any new arguments, other than the ones he used in his replies to Bakhtiyar Hajiyev or Ata Abdullayev, and the answers of Aliyev put him not in a favourable position before the audience. However, in some sense we are lucky, because after he said “ when I became prime-minister as a result of the peaceful revolution” he did not mention our recent falsified elections, and this would be really a shock to our country’s image. So we are lucky that he did not use our falsified elections as an argument in front of all international audience this time, but next time- he may, thats why we are saying do not falsify elections!”
FB users share information of Rabiyya Mammadova, writing that after they were taken by police buses and left in the Gobustan reserve, they shut the gates there, so it was not possible for the friends’ cars to pick them up, so they had to walk for an hour.
One of the candidates Javid Gara reports, that the precinct electoral commission appointed a meeting on reviewing his complaint and warned him only one hour before the meeting, and he could not make it. “So they made a decision and sent me by mail- nothing has changed!” – he comments.
Tofig Yagublu writes with irony: “ Ilham Aliyev, that’s why you cannot return Karabagh. Police has left protesters in the distant places, like Alat, Shamakha, Jengi, but they came back sooner than the policemen themselves. Next time you should put the iron shackles on their feet and throw them to the Caspian sea, so they would be able to get out of there”
He also comments on arrest of Arif Hajili and Ilgar Mammadov: “ Stealing of two politicians from their home yards has confirmed that our government is involved in banditism. None of the progressive world will support such a state including on Karabagh issue.”
Ali Kerimli ( the leader of the expresses solidarity with all detained during the post-elections protest action and demands immediate release of all of them. He also comments on the decision of the CEC instead of cancellation of the results of voting to send back the falsified results “ for investigation” to the “ head of falsification” – precinct election commissions. He demands that the voting results should be cancelled and the composition of the election commissions should be changed, as this is demand of the majority of people. He also reacts to the fact of brutal attack on observer human rights defender Jale Bayramova the daughter of leader the ADR movement Gubad Ibadoglu at the polling station of 76 Lenkoran-Astara precinct and reveals that it was arranged by the member of the “pocket” opposition party ( BXCP- the separated conformist formerly part of PFP). He stresses that the fact that 5 days after that there are signs of investigation, proves that the government is behind it and they should all express solidarity with Jale.
Ilkin Rustamzade reports on where they were taken in the police bus: “ They brought us to the Kamala Narmin reastaurant. They made a police station out of its courtyard. And they even detained the employee of the restaurant.”
Isa Gambar and Mustafa Hajibeyli of Musavat publish full list of detained at the protest rally- 56 Musavat members.
Khadija ismayil and others share an information about detention of young activists Mehman Huseynov and Ulvi Hasanli , while Mehman Huseynov describes as the police left him in the distant deserted place only in T-shirt, in spite of the winter conditions.
Altay Geyushov writes in his timeline in reaction to the suppression of the protest rally: “ They say, that the government’s group of bandits hijacked Ilgar
Ilgar Mammadov and others from their homes. But my intuition tells me, that it might be the beginning of the struggle leading to the significant change!”
Natig Jafarli of REAL speculates about the election system and suggests that before the middle class formed, living standards are improved and the level of education raised the majoritarian system of elections should not be introduced. Otherwise, it will be abused by the rich and corrupt grouping and clans. He brings an example of three men, who came to vote in the bad weather, and explained, that the representative of one candidate gave them 7 manats each if they vote for him, so they did. He also stresses importance of the national ideology, because in the absence of it, people are falling under the influence of foreign propaganda of neighbours – Russian, Iran, Turkey. Thats why it is important to have proportional system of election, so people would learn to make their choices based on ideology.
The candidate Yadigar Sadyghli reports that the voters gave him a list consisting of 226 state employees, who are supposed to come and vote at poll 5, but also bring some more voters to the polling station. Meanwhile, there is no indication which polling station they will vote at. This is a solid proof, that the carousel is arranged by the government. In addition, the chair of the polling station election commission Souleyman Yagub oglu Aliyev filed a complaint about my observer.
FB users widely share video of a dinner celebrating a victory in the elections of Jale Aliyeva, who thanks guests for help in falsification and applying force to the observers of the rival candidates.
The journalist Hezi Bey lists possible candidates, whose voting results might be cancelled ( instead they were sent back to the precinct electoral commission for investigation) – Ulvi Guliyev, Eldar Guliyev, Tahir Mirkishili, Fazail Agamali, Musa Gasimli, Razi Nurullayev, Shahin Ismaylov, Sahib Aliyev, Ramil Hasan, Imamverdi Ismaylov, Nigar Arpadarai.
The candidate Javid Gara promises to discredit all the falsifiers and the chairs of the election commissions one by one. He wrote that according to his 2 very well trained observers there was no falsification at the polling station of Guba precinct Khaltan village where 343 voters were registered until the representative of the village executive power has started putting pressure on electorate to vote for Anatoli Rafailov, threatening to sack them from work, and thus he received 91 votes.
Ilkin Rustamzade of NIDA expressed his dissatisfaction and dissonance related to the protest meeting. Although the call for the meeting was made by Ilgar Mammadov, he joined it in solidarity and actively called for his followers to join the protest rally. However, after he heard the speech of Ilgar Mammadov on Meydan TV, where he called critics of Erkin Gadirli’s decision to join the parliament “shameless liars” he thought that was about himself, as he criticised this step by Gadirli, and as a result cooled down in calling for a meeting…
Natig Jafali reports about reaction of the election commission to his complaints regarding elections: “ The precinct election commission reviewed submitted by myself two Kamaz ( big trucks- L.A) of complaint documents and numerous “porn” videos of falsifications, but did not satisfy my complaint. Now I wait for the response from the CEC.”
Similarly Samed Rahimli reports about negative response from the 34 precinct election commission ( where Zabelin “ won”) to the submitted complaints explaining that the protocols were not filled correctly by the observers. “We are waiting for response from the CEC now- he concluded”
Major reaction to the cancellation of the voting results in 4 precincts is the hashtag campaign “ cancel them all”. The dominating comments to the news about cancellation is to do it with the rest 121 precincts. On day of the St. Valentine the collage depicting the chair of the Central Election Commission Mazahir Panahov with the red heart and sign “I legv (“cancel” in Azerbaijani language) you” was very popular among the FB users.
February 17, 2020