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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Statement By Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
September 6, 2000

Azerbaijan: Parliamentary Election Preparations

The United States welcomes Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission action to register all major democratic political parties for participation in parliamentary elections on November 5. This followed a decision August 28 by the Azerbaijani Constitutional Court against the retroactive application of the new election law requirement that political parties be registered six months prior to the announcement of an election. The Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had cited this provision as a serious shortcoming in the election legislation.

These actions represent significant progress in Azerbaijan's election preparations. We hope that Azerbaijan will take further needed steps for the election to meet international standards; we encourage the government to implement the ODIHR's remaining recommendations, including ensuring nonpartisan domestic observers access to polling stations.

The conduct of free and fair elections will also depend on the functioning of an independent media to which all political parties have access. We urge the government in the pre-election period to act to ensure that this condition is met and to continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with the democratic opposition.

[end of document]

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