Elkhan Suleymanov appeals to ODIHR Director

Mr. Michael George LINK,

Director ODIHR

Warsaw-Poland

For information:

Mr. Ivica Dacic,

OSCE Chairperson

Mr. Ilkka Kanerva,

OSCE PA President

Mr. Martin Shulz,

President of European Parliament

Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland,

Secretary General of Council of Europe

Ms. Anne Brasseur,

PACE President

Baku, 13 April 2015

Mr. Director,

 

 

Allow me to address you on your this week?s visit to Baku, preparing the monitoring of the 2015 parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.

 

During your meetings with several Azerbaijani officials, you emphasized that the election monitoring activities by OSCE/ODIHR are based on clear principles and standards. You explained that OSCE/ODIHR always takes into account and highlights all opinions, observations and analysis of all facts and circumstances, in order to conclude to an objective assessment.

Mr.
Michael George LINK,

Director
ODIHR

Warsaw-Poland

For information:

Mr. Ivica Dacic,

OSCE Chairperson

Mr. Ilkka Kanerva,

OSCE PA President

Mr. Martin Shulz,

President of European Parliament

Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland,

Secretary General of Council of Europe

Ms. Anne Brasseur,

PACE President

Baku,
13 April 2015

Mr.
Director,

 

 

Allow me to address you on
your this week?s visit to Baku, preparing the monitoring of the 2015
parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan.

 

During your meetings with several Azerbaijani
officials, you emphasized that the election monitoring activities by OSCE/ODIHR
are based on clear principles and standards. You explained that OSCE/ODIHR
always takes into account and highlights all opinions, observations and
analysis of all facts and circumstances, in order to conclude to an objective
assessment.

 

We learned from you that during a recent meeting
between officials of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
and OSCE/ODIHR, this issue was discussed at large, and upcoming parliamentary
elections in Azerbaijan will be monitored accordingly.

 

You now publicly stated in Baku that
OSCE/ODIHR will monitor elections “in full objectivity, as always?.

 

These opinions during your Baku visit astonished me and
forced to express my position on them in my capacity of President of the
Association for Civil Society Development in Azerbaijan (ACSDA). Thus, the
ACSDA has monitored all elections in the country for 15 years and is recognized
by international institutions as a specialized organization with enough
potential in the sphere of monitoring of elections. The ACSDA, as a
professional in this field, is regularly invited by international institutions to
meetings and debates held on the eve of elections.

 

Therefore, with regard to your statement on
monitoring of elections by OSCE/ODIHR “in full objectivity, as always?, let me
recall you that so-called “full objectivity? was not at all “always? the
OSCE/ODIHR?s standard, in particular as it was proved during 2013 presidential elections
in Azerbaijan. You will for sure remember that three officially mandated independent
and professional observation missions from European parliamentary assemblies, namely
from PACE, OSCE-PA and European Parliament came to totally different conclusions
than ODIHR. These European organisations, represented by dozens of MP?s from
all political groups and all European countries, came unanimously to the
conclusion that presidential elections were open, free and fair, albeit that
some minor shortcomings were noted.

 

Nevertheless, civil servants from ODIHR ? not
having any public representation capacity! – strongly insisted to completely overrule fact-findings by all
these official delegations, even threatened them to conclude on the contrary to
a very negative assessment, thus deliberately and totally one-sided trying to
harm the good reputation of my country.

 

ODIHR observation mission is usually composed
of middle and low-ranking officers representing OSCE member-countries. Differently from members of parliament, they usually have very
little information about the election process, in some cases, they are
generally unaware and as a rule, ODIHR election observation
members, who are middle and
low-ranking officers, are
forced to unconditionally carry out the orders of the high officials.For this reason, in this
or any other form they are prone to fall under the influence and easily become representatives
of these or other corporate interests.

 

Together with many European political decision
makers I am fully aware that huge corporate interests invest in your
organisation ODIHR and in instructing your civil servants. Their main purpose
is to use ODIHR?s elections monitoring as a leverage to impose some particular
foreign political agenda on many young democracies, including my country. This
is not a secret, as since many years this is common practice.

 

By taking stubborn and biased negative
positions against my country, and by publicly suggesting some kind of
“revolution?, please be aware that similar kind of policy has set into flames Ukraine,
all Maghreb and most Middle-East countries, turning many of them into failed
states, and endangering the world peace as never before.

 

In this regard, allow me to invite you most
sincerely to inquire the opinion of the Azerbaijani people and it will become
clear to you that in my country nobody is looking for such unrest, moreover
given the fact of our very fragile geopolitical neighbourhood.

 

Taking all this in account, I trust that you
will understand my astonishment when you stated few days ago in Baku that OSCE/ODIHR
will monitor elections “in full objectivity, as always?. It?s crystal clear
that this was not the case in the past, but as I keep believing in honesty and
justice, I do trust that this time, during upcoming parliamentary elections,
you will assess elections in full objectivity, albeit for the first time.

 

I suppose that your conclusions, as always,
are already drafted, and corporate interests will direct the ODIHR?s pencil to
bias.

 

This time I refuse to believe this, I want to
put my trust that ODIHR?s assessment may be truly objective in these elections thanks
to your efforts.

 

With my
highest consideration,

 

Elkhan Suleymanov

President of ACSDA

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