Protest youth movement preparing for snap parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan
Eight representatives of civil society have created the ‘Movement’ bloc to participate in the extraordinary parliamentary elections on February 9, 2020. Among them are former political prisoners, oppositionists, activists of youth movements and lawyers.
All of them are going to run for MPs from different districts if they pass registration.
Two of them include blogger and former political prisoner Mehman Huseynov and activist of the gender movement Rabiya Mammadova, who participated in the municipal elections held on December 23, but did not pass and who claims this is a result of falsification.
Members of the bloc have differing political views.
The common thing between them is that they are mainly young people who do not sympathise with the government and want to “see the rule of law in Azerbaijan, where freedom of expression and human rights are valued, fair elections are held, independent and fair courts function”.
The main goal of the Movement is to politicise the masses, to attract the attention of society and, in particular, to enable the active participation of youth in the elections, and not only as voters, but also as observers.
“We created the Movement block to set people in motion,” said Azer Qasimli, a member of the block.
“One of the main goals is to attract people to the elections as much as possible. In our constituencies, we intend to ensure maximum electoral activity. Although we have no illusions about how the authorities organise these elections. Until now, they have never organised them normally,” says another member of the bloc, Turgut Qambar.
In addition, the bloc will deal mainly with the administrative and technical support of the election campaign of its members. Otherwise, each candidate is on his own.
Snap parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were announced after the current parliament announced self-dissolution in early December. The initiative came from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, which explained that the parliament needed to be updated in order to support the reforms carried out by the president.
The Movement is the second electoral bloc created in anticipation of the election. The first, under the name “Union of Real Republicans,” included members of the unregistered Republican Alternative party and several independent candidates.
The ruling party has not yet submitted a list of its candidates.
Musavat opposition party will participate in the elections on its own.