Prof. Dr.  Aygun Attar Prof. Dr. Aygun Attar

OSCE Azerbaijan Elections Mission Chair should be objective

09 February 2020
“ OSCE report about the elections in Azerbaijan will be negative because we see the prejudice. „
OSCE Azerbaijan Elections Mission Chair should be objective

To OSCE Azerbaijan Elections Mission Chair,

I came to Baku to serve as an international observer in the Azerbaijani parliamentary elections by the OSCE between 3-12 February. With my expertise in the areas of political science and international relations such as any scientist in the related field, I have made comprehensive research about the Turkey-Azerbaijan relations, under the OSCE umbrella in Azerbaijan, I thought that this election process would bring different experiences to show presence, I have been mistaken. But before the elections started, I have listened to the publicity speeches presented by the political and media analysts to the election observers at the information meeting held in Baku between 6-7 February. Only marginal bloggers and opponents (!) have also observed the prejudiced attitude of the OSCE towards the Azerbaijani parliamentary elections since my first admission, based on the discourses of one or two journalists whose names have not been heard by the public.

In the election, which is taking place on February 9, including 19 political parties and many independent parties, 1324 candidates will compete to become deputies. Launching the media as “partially free” was sufficient to indicate the OSCE's obsessive and negative attitude. While you had to introduce the regions physically and geographically for the observers who will work there, promoting ethnic identities and promoting through the parceled political map of Azerbaijan shook my conscience as a scientist; but I am not surprised. It is evident that you have intervened in your internal affairs by using the commitment of special "ties" that you have established in independent countries through the concepts of democracy and human rights. 30 years still have not passed since the second independence of Azerbaijan and the positive improvements have been ignored and the negatives have been highlighted; this deeply saddens me in the name of Azerbaijan and as a Turkish citizen. The European Security and Cooperation Organization is an organization created to create security and cooperation, which is the responsibility of the name it carries and to ensure stability. Azerbaijan, which I carefully observe, is a country that explains that it attaches importance to its relations with the EU and strives to develop these relations. However, European political expert Thomas de Waal, while evaluating Azerbaijani relations with the European Union states: "European countries need energy in Azerbaijan, but there are also heavy questions to this country." International relations should be carried out on the basis of reciprocity. As I was writing these lines, the elections were not over yet and the report of the OSCE election observation team that followed the election with Azerbaijan was not disclosed as it was. However, I believe that the report will be negative because I have the impression that there will be prejudice. The report prepared by the OSCE does not have a legal sanction, but the report is important for the relations between Azerbaijan and OSCE member countries. My advice to you is to support activities that will respond to discourses that turn into energy sources other than oil and natural gas, such as well-intentioned human energy and let go of the perspective of “European countries need energy in Azerbaijan”. If there is any, the solution of the existing problems without exaggeration and hostile discourse with friendly and constructive advice will be beneficial for the countries that belong to the European Union as well as Azerbaijan, and the OSCE has a great responsibility. Respecting the election of Azerbaijan is the legal duty of all foreign observers at the elections at the invitation of Azerbaijan.

Prof. Dr. Aygün Attar

AGIT Short Term Observer