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February 23
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In connection with the presidential election scheduled for February 7, the Azerbaijani authorities should stop persecution of journalists, release political prisoners and ensure equal opportunities for all political forces, the opposition Musavat party has said. Human rights activist Emin Huseynov believes that Azerbaijan lacks conditions for holding democratic elections, Caucasian Knot writes.

Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on the appointment of snap presidential elections for February 7, 2024.

The sudden appointment of extraordinary presidential elections in Azerbaijan in the absence of conditions for a fair political struggle is aimed at prolonging Aliyev's power, opposition politicians stated. Aliyev was prompted by changes in geopolitics and a desire to reduce the chances of potential rivals, political analysts said.

Ilham Aliyev first became president in 2003. Thanks to amendments to the Azerbaijani Constitution adopted in 2002, his father Heydar Aliyev was able to effectively transfer power to his son.

The opposition Musavat Party issued a statement today in connection with the appointment of snap presidential elections in Azerbaijan. It notes that since 1993, the conditions for democratic elections have not been met at any election or referendum in Azerbaijan.

The electoral legislation did not meet democratic standards, election commissions were under the control of the authorities. During the election campaigns, equal campaigning conditions were not ensured for candidates. The process of voting and vote counting was accompanied by gross violations of the law and mass falsifications, Musavat noted.

The appointment of the election campaign to the period with long New Year vacations, short daylight hours, and the cold weather season will contribute to the reduction of the population's activity in the electoral process. This corresponds to the interests of the authorities, seeking to turn the elections into a formal procedure, he believes.  

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