US sparks criticism over CE"s assessment of Azeri election

The US on Thursday criticized the Council of Europe on its assessment of the October 9 presidential elections in Azerbaijan, TURAN's correspondent reports.

Christopher Midura, Acting Deputy Chief of US Mission to the OSCE, raised concern about the divergent views of OSCE and Council of Europe on the elections in his response to the address by the CE Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland.

"While ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly found "significant problems throughout all stages of election day processes" and found that the election was "undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly and association," we were surprised that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) assessed that a "free, fair and transparent" process prevailed on election day," the letter mentions.

As the State Department's Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf noted on October 10, the US "agrees with the assessment of OSCE/ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and shares the concerns raised in their joint preliminary findings," reads the letter.

The US recently joined as a full member of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission and "looks forward to promoting human rights and democratic governance through that important institution." 

"The US believes that the OSCE and the Council of Europe have significant, complementary roles to play in strengthening respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, and rule of law,"  reads the statement. -25D-


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