Results of Azerbaijan municipal elections approved amid claims of falsification
The results of the municipal elections held in Azerbaijan on December 23, 2019 have recently been approved, despite the fact a number of candidates claim the elections were falsified.
Behind the push to recognise the elections as fraudulent in particular are blogger and former political prisoner Mehman Huseynov and feminist Rabiya Mammadova.
The current municipal elections differed from all previous ones in that several independent and ‘non-standard’ candidates took part in them – gender and social activists, opposition youth and former political prisoners.
Of these, only gender activist Vafa Nagi was elected in her municipal district, which caused a clamor across the country.
Blogger Mehman Huseynov’s two rejected complaints
Immediately after the election, many journalists and independent observers reported violations, carousel voting and falsifications, as well as pressure on independent candidates.
Blogger and former political prisoner Mehman Huseynov tried to appeal the voting results and prove that he had actually won in his constituency.
The election commission canceled the results in two precincts of this constituency, but this did not affect the general election results, and Mehman still did not get into the municipality. Moreover, he himself was accused of fraud.
Then he filed a complaint with the court of appeal, which dismissed his claim and upheld the decision of the election commission. Now the blogger plans to appeal to the Supreme Court, the Caucasian Knot writes.
“In fact, I was not eager to become a member of the municipal council, but I wanted to activate citizens and check whether the authorities really intend to carry out reforms. The clumsy and impudent falsification of the elections showed that the reform declarations are nothing more than an empty phrase,” Huseynov said.
Rabiya Mammadova and charges of insult
Violations were also reported by gender activist Rabiya Mammadova, however her claims were also dismissed, and now she has been sued for ‘making insults.’
Rabiya tried to find out from a group of women why they had gone to different sections and voted in multiple places. When the women ignored her questions, she said after them: “They walk around the polls, vote in several places, dishonest.”
This outraged one of the women, and she now demands from Rabiya an apology and 1,000 manat [about $600 dollars] compensation.
The court hearing is scheduled for January 30.
Both Mehman Huseynov and Rabiya Mammadova are going to participate in the snap parliamentary elections to be held on February 9.