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Monday, November 07, 2005

CIS observers: No huge violations in Azerbaijani elections

BAKU, November 7(RIA Novosti) - The head of the Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS) observer mission to Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections said Monday there were no major violations at the polls. Vladimir Rushailo, head of the CIS Executive Committee, told a news conference that alleged violations of the election law during the elections were "the card played by losers." Rushailo called exit polls "a form of sociological survey," but said some of those who conducted exit polls were not competent enough, leading to several infringements, including conducting exit polls inside polling stations and using additional feedback forms, something the observers noticed at several polls he said. ''This means there were some attempts to rig the elections," Rushailo said, adding that the CIS observer mission reported on those cases. The opposition used the U.S.-funded exit poll to call the vote into dispute, since it gave win to opposition candidates at several polls while the Central Election Commission announced other winners. Rushailo called charges that the CIS observer mission is politically motivated, voiced ahead of the elections, groundless. "We have no personal contacts, links or sympathy [with candidates or parties]. We reported what we saw. When we saw falsification we reported it," he said. Early Monday, Ali Kerimli, the chairman of the Popular Front Party, called the vote into dispute and urged the international community to support the opposition. In a move reminiscent of the Orange revolution in Ukraine, he said "peaceful, constitutional resistance to this falsification" would begin November 8.

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