OSCE PA will not send observers to Azerbaijan if ODIHR does not

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva decided last week that no OSCE PA delegation will deploy to observe the 1 November parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, in line with an earlier decision made by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The President announced his decision during the Assembly’s Autumn Meeting, saying on 17 September that if ODIHR would not send observers due to restrictions imposed by the Azerbaijani authorities, then neither would the Parliamentary Assembly.

Speaking at the PA’s Standing Committee meeting last week in Ulaanbaatar, President Kanerva said, “The Azerbaijan government has imposed restrictions on the work of our traditional OSCE partner, ODIHR. As a result, ODIHR has been forced to cancel their planned observation mission in Azerbaijan. I think it is only appropriate that if our very vital and close partner ODIHR cannot observe, that we also don’t observe in Azerbaijan”, - reads the press release of OSCE PA. -02D-

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