parties with organizations in at least 20% of ditsricts and their blocs should have right to put forth candidates. The working group checking accuracy of candidate registration documents should be composed of independent experts, basis for refusing registration should be concrete and registration deposit should be applied for an alternative variant to registration. Checking accuracy of voter signatures should be excluded from the Code for being absurd. A voter supporting a candidate should simply submit ID number instead of signature, and it should be enough as a person's consent. Separately, opportunites for applying electronic signature should be expanded, platform for online support for a candidate should be created within www.e-gov.az system. E) Pre-election campaign Pre-election campaign, right to freely assemble and media participation in campaigning Pre-election campaign is one of the significant phases of election process in
elections and referendums. In this phase, candidates explain to their voters
economic, social and political programs they will realize in case of election
and try to gain their votes. From this viewpoint, campaiging process is the
Observation Mission indicated in 2013 report "the concept of pre-election campaigning and its description by election bodies should not restrict political actors' engagement in political activity aside of official campaining period, or press should not impose restrictions on covering ordinary election processes".
Campaiging is conducted via different means during elections. The first one
can be called physical contact, assemblying freely in the same place. In this
case, candidates are meeting with voters, organize meetings, prepare and
distribute ads and calendars, prepare and distribute to voters booklets, discs,
or personally meet every voter and declare purposes.
The second and most important method during campaigning is delivering
goals to voters via means of mass media. There are serious problems in the
use of both campaigning ways.
Use of the right of freedom of assembly The Election Code's setting only 22 days for pre-election campaign does not
physically enable to conduct wthin this period all forms of campaiging
(meetings with voters, mass gatherings, campaigning in print and electronic
media). Chances to use the right to freely assemble and establish direct
contacts with voters are restricted taking into consideration 70 district
centers and cities, over 4.500 villages and settlements in the country.
referendums when campaigning should be conducted all over the country.
This aspect also restricts political parties' chance to show respect for the
country population and meet them during parliamentary elections. The
election period being very short term, along with recent general and abstract
provisions included into the "Law on Freedom of Assembly" and Election
Code, have excluded freedom of assembly as a right and has introduced this
right as an exception and opportunity subject to restrictive permission
The biggest obstacle on the way of implementation of freedom of assembly
is the Law "On Freedom of Assembly" adopted on November 13, 1998 and
later decorated with restrictice norms. The law creates clear impression that
its goal is to restrict the right not to regulate it. As if this law is considered
for preventing from implementing the right to freely assemble envisaged in
Constitution. The Constitution Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on
regulating human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Azerbaijan was not
adopted in 1998, the date when this law was adopted. Generally, it was not
possible then to impose restrictions by any law except for the cases
envisaged in the Constitution itself –war, military situation, emergency
situation, as well as mobilisation. Despite this, the law includes several
restrictions and most of them are contrary to Constitution and article 11 of
Article 6 of the Law bans foreigners and persons without citizenship to be
organizer of peaceful gatherings with political purposes. However,
Constitution has recognized the right "for everybody" and has not implied
restriction for anybody.
According to Article 8 (IV) of this Law, "holding a peaceful assembly of political content can be prohibited by the decision of the relevant body of executive power on the eve and during the period of carrying out international events of state importance on the territories of cities and regions where they are conducted”. This norm also directly contradicts
Constitution and article 11 of the Convention. The concept of preparation
period is generally an elastic notion and is an artificial way to restrict human
Article 9 of the Law is absolutely against Constitution and Article 11 of the
Convention. Section III of the article reads: "Conducting gatherings, meetings, demonstrations and street processions can be prohibited in a radius of 200 meters around buildings housing legislative, executive and court power of the Republic of Azerbaijan". The restriction here does not
include any urgency for democratic society, or protection of any other right
and freedom. People's constituional rights have been brutally restricted
without any grounds.
The non-allowance to use freedom of assembly envisaged in Section VI of
Article 9 in places other than the specified, the hour restriction norms in
section VII for gatherings also contradict Constitution and Article 11 of
Convention. Particularly, Law has charged relevant executive body to
approve places for free gatherings and directly authorized it to interfere in
place and targets of citizens' ability to exercise this right. In practice, every
constituency has one pre-approved place for assembly during election
period and regretfully, places not suitable for social gatherings are more
remarkable in list. For years, the right to freely assemble has been brought
to the form of right used simply during elections, absolutely forbidden or
seriously restricted in later periods. Most of political parties cannot exercise
this right in post-election period and remain subject to relevant executive
body’s "generosity". Exercizing this right without prior consent is absolutely
Evaluation of legislation gives grounds to note that even though the
Constitutional norm regulating freedom of assembly was satisfactory, the
Constitutional Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On regulation of
implementation of human rights and freedoms in the Republic of
Azerbaijan" adopted by the National Assembly on December 24, 2002,
contradicted the Constitution, carrying the same legal force with the
Constitution, and created conditions to restrict several moments connected
with human rights, further restricted these rights. The Law "On Freedom of
Assembly" adopted November 13, 1998, does not generally meet the
requirements of either the Constitution, or the Constitutional law adopted in
2002, or Article 11 of the European Convention "On protection of human
rights and main freedoms" ratified by National Assembly in 2001. There is
great urgency to revise the law to include provisions protecting essence of
Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan regulates
freedom of assembly. The Constitution stipulates freedom of assembly for
everybody. It says "everybody", and the notion should be accepted as
including not only Azerbaijani citizens, but also everybody living in the
country irrelevant of citizenship, as well as the persons without citizenship.
Section 2 of the Article reads: "Everybody is entitled to live peacefully, armlessly, hold gatherings, meetings, demonstrations, street processions, pickets". The article has directly indicated forms and directions of
realization of the freedom of assembly. It has openly stipulated that
everybody wishing to freely assemble, is entittled to peacefully and freely
assemble by advance warning of the relevant state body. Apparently,
"warning relevant state body" does not necessiate "getting permission" for
free assembly, it simply enables state bodies to conduct security measures.
The side wishing to freely assemble should be able to hold gathering in the
place it determines by warning. It shouldn't wait for days for reaction of the
relevant executive power to that warning. From this viewpoint, demanding
permission from those entitled to freely assemble is contradicting
Constitution. The methods and essence of free assembling are also directly
indicated in the Constitution. Forms of gatherings have been separately
pointed out. Those who wish to freely assemble, can arrange gatherings,
meetings, demonstrations, street processions, or pickets. But in all cases,
these gatherings should be held in peaceful and armless form.
Separately, Article 11 of the European Convention on Protection of Human
Rights and Main Freedoms, ratified by Azerbaijan in 2001, has legally
guaranteed the right to Free Assembly and Right to Association. This article
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State. Apparently, the first part of the article describes freedom of assembly and
association and the second part discloses on which basis and terms can this
freedom be restricted.
The most serious problem in exercising the right to freedom of assembly
and association is that legal grounds behind the restrictions are sometimes
used for obstructing freedoms. Official bodies' sometimes try to eliminate
freedom by referring in practice to restriction not freedom itself.
Article 11 of the Convention is expressing in limited form the cases when
states can limit the specified freedom. Limited because the cases are
concrete and cannot be expanded through interpretation. It should be
particularly realized correctly. Azerbaijan is a state which adopted the
Convention and applies jurisdiction of the European Court of Human
Rights, and should properly refer this practice together with legislative
bodies, also the executive bodies which have to apply these laws and
international law rulings. Like any other country which has joined the
Convention, Azerbaijan should not refer to other reasons than indicated here
while restricting free assembly and should not expand these reasons.
Because it had undertaken this as national obligation.
Freedom of association and assembly can be restricted only on the basis of
Section 2 of Article 11 of the Constitution. They are:
for the sake of national secutiry and public order; prevention from disorder and crime; for protection of health and morality; for protection of rights and freedoms of other people; The last sentence of section 2 of Article 11 of the Convention reads that
"this Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of
the administration of the State " and has indicated for member countries
which professions can have restrictions on freedom of assembly and
The logic behind this restriction is that persons involved in armed forces,
police and administrative state bodies are administering state bodies and
their joining with other purposes would not be in complaince with state
administration and protection.
It's impossible to restrict persons' right to freedom of assembly and
association in cases other than those indicated above. For instance, it's
unacceptable to legally introduce the restriction by state bodies’ workload,
insufficiency of sources, proximity of official buildings, others’ right to
leisure, arrangement of events and other reasons not indicated separately in
Section 2 of Article 11. Because Article 11 of the Convention does not
allow bringing such additional reasons and determines a very clear
As clearly see from all the mentioned, restrictive norms in both the Election
Code and the Law on Freedom of Assembly which the Code refers to, has
brought the right to freely assemble to self-damaging role and is direct
violation of constitutional rights, Article 11 of the European Convention, as
well as voting rights.
This point is also being criticized in OSCE/ODIHR final Report dated
December 24, 2013: "This approach means unnecessary restriction on citizen's right to free assembly. Given that political contestants have limited opportunity to campaign outside of the formal 22-day campaign period, this interpretation further restricted their ability to reach out to voters. Furthermore, contradictions in legal requirements caused confusion among contestants as to the applicable procedures. In order to further an open campaign environment and in line with previous OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, the restrictive approach of the executive authorities regarding the allocation of official venues for the conduct of the campaign should be reviewed. Contradictions between the Election Code and the Law on Freedom of Assembly on the notification or application for holding a public gathering should be eliminated and candidates should only be required to notify executive authorities of their intent to hold a gathering”.
By recent amendments, the Election Code is limiting the circle of places for
election campaign placards during election and referendum campaigning. In
pracice, such placards are placed in front of each polling station. As polling
stations are mainly located in schools, these campaign placards can be glued
only onto boards situated in schoolyards.
Entrance to schoolyards is limited everywhere and school gates are closed at
the end of lesson hour, as well as on weekends. Not only voters, but also the
persons wishing to stick the campaign materials on these boards during the
campaigning, face serious obstacles. Besides, such placards are prohibited to
be stick on buildings, facilities and rooms belonging to state, included into
state register and considered historical or cultural monuments. Election
campaign materials contradicting requirements of the Civic Code of the
Republic of Azerbaijan are also prohibited to be glued to buildings and
other faciities. The expression "contradicting requirements of Civic Code" is
also absolutely indefinite. Because the Civic Code does not include a special
requirement on placement of campaign materials.
Distribution and placement of election campaign materials should be absolutely free, technical regulations should not limit or eliminate fundamental voting right. Restricting norms in the Code should be eliminated. Administrative punishment for right to freedom of assembly Allongside restricting use of right to free assembly, heavy punishments have
been imposed on those exercising this right. Article 298 of the
Administrative Offences Code lost its validity by the Law of the Republic of
Azerbaijan N 462-IVQD dated November 2, 2012 and new regulatory
article was added. The article's essence was as follows:
“Article 298. V i o l a t i o n o f t h e r e g u l a t i o n s t o o r g a n i z e a n d h o l d g a t h e r i n g s , m e e t i n g s , d e m o n s t r a t i o n s , s t r e e t p r o c e s s i o n s a n d p i c k e t s Warning is issued and a fine from seven to thirteen manats is imposed for violating legislative regulations for holding gatherings, meetings, demonstarions, street processions and pickets". The new article introduced on November 2, 2012 read as follows:
“Article 298. Violation of regulations of organizing and holding gatherings 298.1. For the gathering organizer's violating the norm defined by law for holding gatherings, meetings, demonstrations, street processions and pickets -physical persons are fined from one thousand and five hundred manats to three thousand manats, or according to situation of cases, taking into consideration personality of the violator, community service from two hundred hours to two hundred forty hours or administrative detention of up to two months is applied, official persons are fined from three thousand manats to six thousand manats, legal entities from fifteen thousand manats to thirty thousand manats. 298.2. For participating in gathering, meetings, demonstraton, street procession or picket organized not in compliance with regulations specified by law – fine from three undred manats to six hindred manats, or depending on conditions of the cases, taking into consideration the personality of violator, community service from one hundred and sixty hours to two hundred hours or administrative detention of up to two months is applied. The most remarkable point here is that while the maximum level of fine was
13 manats in 2012, now the amount has been increased to 30 thousand
manats. It has updated the record of all periods and has increased sanction
for one article by 2.307 times. They did not сonfine themselves to such a
rise of fine, have reinforced the article sanction by community service of up
to two hundred and forty hours or administrative sentence of up to two months. The legislators did not confine to this and added a note: "Note: In case actions stipulated in articles 298.1 and 298.2 of this Code include criminal signs, those actions result in criminal responsibility under relevant articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan" – thus
stipulating execise of right to freedom of assembly as the most dangerous
case and criminal action.
For elections to be held free and democratic, for voters to feel themselves comfortable, the way to the right to free assmebly should be open. Whilst people assemble peacefully and do not endanger society, imposition of high amount of fine on them, involving them in obligatory work and limiting their freedoms should be unacceptable. The sanction of this article should immediately be reduced to the level that existed in 2012.
The way of using administrative resources should be unambigiously closed during campaigning, candidates should be deprived of their legally recognized priviledges and opportunities irrelevant of their posts, equality of all candidates should be ensured. From the start of elections, all reconstruction, construction works, refurbishment of facilities affecting citizen votes, should be banned. Except for cases of accidents, the period of expenditures pre-stipulated in state and local budgets, should be banned from the start day of elections to the day the results are declared. Means of mass media in elections Legal framework Constitution stipulates freedom of expression, press freedom and freedom to
obtain information. However, libel remains to be a criminal act with
criminal responsibility of imprisonment of up to three years. Article 106 of
the Constitution and Article 323 of the Criminal Code prohibits dishonoring
or humilating President's honor and dignity and imposes an unnecessary
restriction on freedom of expression contrary to international standards. See
Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, dated 1996 and Sections 13 and 47 of the General Comments of the UN Human Rights Commitee, dated 2011. Makhmudov and Aghazadeh vs. Azerbaijan, Application No.
35877/04, Rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR),
December 18, 2008, Lingens vs Austria, Application No. 9815/82,
ECHR rulings and other cases taken July 8, 1986.
Besides, civic defamation charges accompanied with disproportional
financial sanctions result in de facto shutdown of media outlets. Due to web-
pages remaining open and lack of direct censorship, Internet is mostly
accepted as free space. However, detentions and persecution of online active
persons are on the rise. The recent changes made to the Criminal Code on
June 4, 2013, factually applied defamation provisions on Internet
information resources. The above changes were adopted even though in
September, 2012, the Presidential Administration asked the Venice
Commission for help to write the Law on Defamation within the National
Action Plan to increase efficiency of protection of human rights and
freedoms in Azerbaijan. See: "Opinion on the Legislation pertaining to the
Protection against Defamation of the Republic of Azerbaijan" posted on:
Besides, on June 12, 2012, the Parliament adopted amendments to laws on
"Obtaining information", "State registration and state register of legal entities" and "On commercial secret". The mentioned changes applied
within legal framework, imposed unnecessary restrictions on Constitutional
rights to obtain information.
OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission also mentioned the issue in its
Final Report, December 24, 2013: Consideration should be given to repealing criminal defamation provisions in favour of civil sanctions designed to restore the reputation harmed, rather than compensate the plaintiff or punish the defendant; sanctions should be strictly proportionate to the actual harm caused and the law should prioritize the use of non- pecuniary remedies. Campaigning in media Means of mass media have always been the most significant way of
campaigning during elections and referendum. Through these means,
candidates, political parties and referendum campaigning groups have
chance to reach to a major election audience within a short period of time
and with less energy, introduce themselves and explain their program and
In comparision with 2003 Election Code, the amendment made June 2, 2008
to the Code further restricted opportunities, media platforms to be allocated
for candidates and campaigning groups were limited to public broadcasting.
Article 77.1 of the Code in previous edition read that all broadcasters and
press outlets established by state bodies, organizations and institutions,
financed through state budget, were obligated to allocate equal place for all
candidates and referendum campaigning groups. The word "broadcasters"
was replaced by "public broadcasters" in 2008 and brought into an absurd
form and a seriously significant media platform was seized from the side
using passive voting right.
There are a number of broadcasters and media outlets established and
funded by state in Azerbaijan. Upon acceptance to the Council of Europe in
2001, Azerbaijan undertook an obligation to abolish Azerbaijan State
Television and turn it into Public Television. However, the obligation was
not carried out. The State Television and radio was protected, maintained
and even expanded. Particularly, after 2008, two more state televisions
(Idman Azerbaijan (Sports Azerbaijan) and Medeniyyet Azerbaijan (Culture
Azerbaijan)) and two regional TV and radios (Naxcivan State Television
and Kanal 35 in Naxcivan) and two regional radios (in Naxcivan) received
license and began operating. So the number of state TVs and radios reached
8. Today, ten TV and radios including Public televisions are funded through
state budget. Besides, the state is annually allocating soap-operas-assigned
millions of manats to private televisions from state budget. These donations
are regretfully not spent on publicly- important issues, public contribution to
The government's annual financial aid to media is rising. In 2001, 65.5
million manats was expended on state media from state budget. This sum
equaled 76.8 million dollars in 2012, 82.9 million dollars in 2013, 84.2
million in 2014 and 84.8 million dollars in 2015. Even though millions are
spent on state media every year, regretfully, these televisions and radios
simply serve the government as a means of propaganda. Ways for other
political sides to use this opportunity are absolutely closed. There is legal
opportunity to campaign only on Public TV and radio. But in practice, the
legislative requirement to use this media outlet is used in a limited way.
During 2010 parliamentary elections pre-election campaign, curious
situation evolved as no party or political bloc other than ruling party had
registered candidates from 60 constituencies. In case the requirement of the
law was applied, besides 8 state TV and radios in government hands, public
televisions and radio should also be given to their disposal. The situation
clearly described the injustice of the regulation brought by legislation.
Having noticed that no political side except for ruling party was entitled to
campaign in public television and radio, ruling YAP refused to campaign
alone in public television and radio. CEC put aside requirement of the law,
allocated 4- minute broadcast time to all individual candidates, without any
Legislative requirement was again brutally violated when the 4-minute time
was allocated. The requirement of article 80.5 of the Election Code "Free
broadcasting time should be allocated at a time when broader audience can
watch" was violated through CEC joint collaboration with Public TV and
Radio management. The campaigning time in television was set at 18:00. It
is not "the time when broader audience can watch" televisions. The prime-
time for televisions around the world covers from 19:30 to 20:00. Curiously,
the end of working time is considered the most listened for radios as radio
listeners are mainly in cars. 18:00-20:00 is the most listened time for radios.
The legislative requirement for radios was also violated at recent elections
and 21:00 was allocated for radio campaiging. So, radio campaign period
was set at prime time for TVs and at televisions- at prime time for radios,
the purpose was to have as little as possible audience to benefit from
Another problem was the volume of weekly campaign time being set at 3
hours. The daily norm did not exceed 25 minutes. Daily use of 25 minutes
during 3 weeks makes only a total of 540 minutes. In 2015, the broadcast
time Public TV should allocate will makes only 540 minutes. Dividing this
figure by the number of registered candidates, one candidate receives only 1
minute within 22 days. In 2010, 540 minutes divided by 741 persons
resulted only by 43 seconds for each candidate. In 2005, 2063 candidates
had only 15.7 seconds each. Allocating seconds of free broadcasting time to
individuals is not effective.
One of the serious problems in pre-election campaign in media is
campaiging in private televisions and radios. Legislation allows private
televisions and radios to act freely as campaiging platform. As televisions
cannot operate freely, they are not interested in election campaigning
process. They mainly reject participation in the process. Those participating
set abnormal price policy. During the recent elections, televisions set 3000-
3500 manat for one minute broadcasting. Even the Public TV price for one
minute was not less than 3000 AZN. Official paper "Azerbaijan" set 12.000-
20.000 AZN for one election banner. The prices were several times higher
than commercial ads prices.
The reason was due to Election Code not differentiating political
campaiginig material from commercial ads for their public significance.
Democratic states have very clear norm in this regard. For instance, in USA,
political ads should not be higher than the cheapest ads within 24-hour
broadcasting. If at 3 A.M., one minute ads costs USD 200, then political ads
at prime-time should not cost higher than USD 200. Analysing taxes given
by TVs in Azerbaijan, we can witness that commercial ads are bought at
very low prices. But political ads are set at extremely high prices. The
Election Code should urgently include such a regulation.
The Election Code does not entitle media to express position in connection
with elections. Namely this provision restricts televisions' news and other
programs to freely inform about campaiging. Besides, Election Code
recognizes media as a means in pre-election campaign and as a result,
coverage of any campaign is de-facto identified with campaiging in favor of
recommendations. CE recommendations note that particularly during
election period, media and private broadcaster serving public interests,
should ensure fair, balanced and impatial coverage of election campaign
through discussions, interviews and debates, as well as news and other
programs devoted to daily developments. See the Committe of Ministers
Recommendations (CM/REC(2007)15) to member states on media coverage
of election campaigns:
OSCE election observation mission report read: "The Election Code should address the right of voters to receive comprehensive and diverse information about political alternatives through the media. Public service media and private broadcasters should be legally obliged to provide fair, balanced and impartial coverage of the election campaign in their news and current affairs programs. Such provisions should be overseen by an independent body competent to conduct media monitoring".
Generally, OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission's monitoring of
recent presidential elections also mentioned that candidates did not have
enough access to press, and there was lack of balanced and open exchange
of views for political opportunities. Restrictive legal framework and openly
disproportional coverage of the incumbent President's activity within
campaign period further deepened the inequal conditions for candidates. It
contradicts Section 7.8 of 1990 Copenhagen Document of the OSCE and
limits voters' opportunity to make informed choice. Section 7.8 of the
document requires that "participating states should provide that no legal or administrative obstacle stands in the way of unimpeded access to the media on a non-discriminatory basis for all political groupings and individuals wishing to participate in the electoral process".
Section 7.7 of OSCE 1990 Copenhagen Document also declares the following on campaign period: “Member countries should ensure ensure that law and public policy work to permit political campaigning to be conducted in a fair and free atmosphere in which neither administrative action, violence nor intimidation bars the parties and the candidates from freely presenting their views and qualifications, or prevents the voters from
learning and discussing them or from casting their vote free of fear of retribution”. As a result, the following changes should be made to the Code: -
provisions requiring registration of candidate in 60 constituencies and provision imposing other limitations should be eliminated; -
all televisons and radios funded through state budget should allocate broadcast time in election process in an obligatory way; -
This time should not be less than 1 hour a day for every television and radio and should be only at prime-time; -
Paid broadcast time at private televisions, as well as public and state broadcasters should have minimum limit, campaign hours should be at prime-time, the highest level of the price should be set lower than the cheapest commecial ad within latest month; -
The highest price set at periodical press outlets, online resources, sites and other media should be set less than the cheapest commercial ad; -
From the start day of electons, "election period" regulations should be applied in all TVs and radios, periodicals, other media resources' news policy, both government and opposition should be given equal coverage in news; -
Balance should be ensured, a press group with equal participation of sides should conduct controlling function; -
Media bodies violating regulations should receive high fines and in case they do not follow the rules after fines, their broadcasting or publication should be temporarily ceased till the end of the voting day. F) REGISTRATION AND WORK OF OBSERVERS IN ELECTIONS Institute of observation is very significant during elections in terms of
realizing elections' transparency principle. Regretfully, observation is
impossible without passing through a bureaucratic system via the current
Election Code. Actually, only a non-governmental organization wishing to
carry out observation mission in elections, should be accredited at the
Central Election Commission (CEC). To this end, it should be enough for
NGO to submit relevant application and copy of state registration certificate
to CEC. CEC should itself be able to have a look at the document’s original
through the Justice Ministry electronic registry. NGO itself should
determine dispatch of its observers for concrete polling stations and giving
them relevant cards. The same regulation should be set for political parties
not participating in elections, but wishing to conduct observation.
The Election Code requirement for observers to get registered at relevant
election commissions should be applied only to persons who want to
observe elections at their own initiatives. Such a rule opens major
opportunities for organizations implementing observation mission to express
themselves before relevant instances (election commissions, courts, etc.).
Observers of political parties participating in elections and wishing to
conduct observation (bloc of political parties) and candidates should not at
all get registered at election commissions. The observers appointed by these
subjects should conduct observation only with cards given by these subjects.
Because those subjects actually get registered at election commissions and
re-registration of their observers at election commissions is a repeated
Requring photo for observation card should be eliminated, because the card
is considered valid when submitted together with ID card and for this
reason, there is no need for photos.
Observers' rights should be indicated concretely and clearly in legislation,
their rights should be expanded, they should be authorised to obtain copies
of voter lists, check lists, as well as parallel count of votes.
Legislation should unambiguously specify as obligation reception of
opinions and acts compiled on elecion day by observers and submitted to
relevant election commissions. Facts indicated in these documents should be
checked during the process of determining election results, urgent measures
should be taken in case of any grounds, should be referred to as basis in
determination of election results.
During voting day, observer should use his/her right to be in voting room of election station at any time of the day, use dictophone and video cameras, as well as other means of modern technology. The material observers obtain during observaton via those technical means should be considered as evidence obtained via legal way, relevant changes should be made to Civic Procedural Code and Criminal Procedural Code. Records of observation cameras should also be unconditionally considered legally obtained evidence for courts, these records should be critical at any dispute.
Legal force of the act compiled by observer should not be linked to other persons' will and should be evaluated as one of direct evidences. All norms on conduct of exit poll should be excluded from the Code, any public body should freely conduct exit poll in any polling station and constituency. As it carries public control character over election process, getting CEC consent is of absurd nature.