Rapporteur condemns exclusion of candidates from Azerbaijani elections as ‘undemocratic’

Sunna Ævarsdottir (Iceland, SOC), rapporteur on ‘reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan’, today condemned the exclusion of Ilgar Mammadov and other potential candidates from the Azerbaijani parliamentary elections on 9 February.

“At the beginning of December, the Committee of Ministers called on Azerbaijan to implement judgments of the European Court of Human Rights by ensuring that Ilgar Mammadov and other former political prisoners could stand as candidates in the next parliamentary elections”, recalled Ms Ævarsdottir.

“Azerbaijan’s failure to fulfil this binding obligation shows contempt for the authority of the Court and the Committee of Ministers and disdain for the rule of law. By excluding genuine opposition from the electoral process, the current regime reveals its increasingly undemocratic nature.

This new failure creates a legal and political crisis of unprecedented gravity. Azerbaijan has already failed to respond to the ‘nuclear option’ of infringement proceedings. The Committee of Ministers must now decide what further action to take,” she concluded.