Somenotes regardinghearingsin Advisory Committee of the European Parliament on February 11, 2014

On February 10, 2014, a number of mass media means of Azerbaijan spread information that the European Parliament will punish 7 MEPs, who observed Presidential elections in Azerbaijan on 9thOctober.The information stated that on February 11, cases of PinoArlacchi, Head of Election Observation Mission of European Parliament, as well as of mission’s members FilipKaczmarek, Yoachim Zeller, YevgenyKirilov, Norica Nicolai, Milan Cabrnoch, Fiorello Provera will be considered and they will face the sanctions of Advisory Committee.

 

I would like to tell that Advisory Committee functions since the adoption of Code of Conduct of EP Members in January of 2012.

On February 10, 2014, a number of mass media means of Azerbaijan spread information that the European Parliament will punish 7 MEPs, who observed Presidential elections in Azerbaijan on 9th October.The information stated that on February 11, cases of PinoArlacchi, Head of Election Observation Mission of European Parliament, as well as of mission’s members FilipKaczmarek, Yoachim Zeller, YevgenyKirilov, Norica Nicolai, Milan Cabrnoch, Fiorello Provera will be considered and they will face the sanctions of Advisory Committee.

 

I would like to tell that Advisory Committee functions since the adoption of Code of Conduct of EP Members in January of 2012.

 

As a result of hearings in the Advisory Committee regarding the MEP violating the Code of Conduct, the Committee may demand to punish or justify this MEP, submitting suggestions to EP President. It should be noted that the punishments, such as cutting MP salary of MEP, depriving him of some activities in the European Parliament, dismissing him from the office mightbe applied to this MEP.

 

At the same time, I consider it important to clarify the information spread in Azerbaijani mass media concerning possible punishment by the Advisory Committee of official election observation mission of the European Parliament during Presidential elections of 9 October in Azerbaijan. Thus, this is inaccurate and hurriedly submitted information.

 

Already 4 months have passed since Presidential elections in Azerbaijan.Immediately after the elections, the Election Observation Mission of European Parliament made a preliminary statement, stating that the elections were democratic and transparent. Since then, Mr. Arlakki, Head of EP EOM worked out and submitted a final report on elections to the European Parliament.In that report, he confirmed that the elections were democratic, free, transparent, and met the OSCE and CoE standards. Thus, the function of EP’s official election observation mission in Azerbaijan has finished and that’s out of question that the members of EP’s official observation mission may be punished in any way.

 

Therefore, I would like to clarify the information in mass media regarding hearings in the Advisory Committeeon 11th February and state that none of 7 members of official observation mission during Presidential elections of Azerbaijan have been invited. The invited MEPsobserved the Presidential elections in Azerbaijan within Delegations of international NGOs, thus, they were members of unofficial observation missions.

 

Unfounded claims were made that MEPs visiting Azerbaijan within unofficial observation mission were financed by and received gifts from the party running for elections. Although 4 months has passed since the elections, such claims are intentions of a number of international power centers to continue pressure to Azerbaijan in a new way and context. Thus, those international power centers tried to present Azerbaijan as an authoritarian country, and the government as illegitimate one, following Presidential elections of 9 October in Azerbaijan. However, their crafty purpose failed, Azerbaijani nation made its choice, and except OSCE/ODIHR team, which implements the order of powerful states and low-ranking state officials, all international election observation missions, including PACE’s and EP’s EOMsstated that Presidential elections in Azerbaijan were conducted in a democratic and transparent way.

 

Oneofthemainpurposesofpowercenters, whichdon’tstop pressures against Azerbaijan is to harm the image of Azerbaijan before the world community by presenting it as an authoritarian country, to get engaged the Azerbaijani public in these issues by continuously addressing biased allegations, to distract Azerbaijan’s attention from 20% of its territories, including NagornoKarabakh  and 7 surrounding regions occupied by Armenia for more than 20 years and to make ittake hands off these territories. On the other hand, the mentioned power centers try to unconditionally ensure their interests by creating a negative image of Azerbaijan before the world community.

 

In my opinion, one of the main factors, which brought such claims to the agenda, is to achieve that Azerbaijan signs the Association Agreement through such pressures, otherwise to send signal that the events like in Ukrainemay also happen in Azerbaijan.

 

Regretfully, some representatives of the European Parliament even don’t refrain from undermining the image of MEPs in order to achieve their mentioned purposes. Even they consider Azerbaijan to be the European country in words, doesn’t consider the Azerbaijani public the European Family in practice.

 

The European Parliament doesn’t ask MEPs about the sources of financing their visits to Kiev against the background the events in Ukraine. Some international organizations, as well as some politicians interfere with the internal affairs of Ukraine for their ownpurposes; even they don’t refrain from overthrowing a democratically formed government and elected president in this country and sabotaging and cluttering up for splitting Ukraine.

 

I consider that one of main factors stipulating these allegations against MEPs is that after power centers, which make pressure on Azerbaijan, became assured that their attempts to destabilize Azerbaijan fail, they try to force MPs with objective attitude towards Azerbaijan to review their positions by making pressure on them. Therefore, the allegations against MEPs, who were members of unofficial observation mission, and hearing on this issue in the Advisory Committee,should be considered as a part of de-facto prosecution campaign launched against parliamentarians and foreign public and political figures with loyal attitude towards our country in order to deprive Azerbaijan from the support of the international society.

 

 

ElkhanSuleymanov

 

Vice-President of the Euronest PA

Chairman of the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest PA

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