Early parliamentary elections took place in the Republic of Azerbaijan on 9 February 2020.
As noted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) Election Observation Mission, the Central Electoral Commission made concerted efforts to act transparently and was welcoming towards international observers.
According to the OSCE/ODIHR’s preliminary assessment, despite a high number of candidates, the restrictive legislation and political environment prevented genuine competition in the elections. Some opposition parties boycotted the elections due to the restrictive environment, while some candidates were prevented from running by Azerbaijan’s failure to execute rulings of the European Court of Human Rights concerning violations of the right to free elections. Significant procedural violations during the counting of ballots and the tabulation, as highlighted by the OSCE/ODIHR, are of particular concern.
The European Union regrets that long standing recommendations by OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission still have to be addressed. The EU stands ready to assist in this process.
The EU looks forward to continuing dialogue and working closely with Azerbaijani institutions, including the newly elected Parliament, for the benefit of all citizens.