The European Parliament's foreign affairs committee yesterday discussed the findings and conclusions of the EP's election observation mission of the recent presidential elections in Azerbaijan. The Greens/EFA group is seriously critical of the official report of the mission. Commenting on the situation, Green foreign affairs spokesperson Ulrike Lunacek said:
"The findings and report of the EP mission to Azerbaijan are a sham and in sharp contrast with those of the OSCE/ODIHR mission and numerous domestic election observers. The EP report failed to acknowledge the stifling environment of these elections, which included well-documented human rights violations, harassment of the political opposition and restriction of fundamental democratic principles. The Greens/EFA group does not support the statement made by the EP's delegation and has requested a common meeting with the head of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission Tana de Zulueta."
Greens/EFA foreign affairs spokesperson Werner Schulz added:
"The shortcomings of EP's own election observation mission to Azerbaijan call into question the existence of such short term missions in general. The European Parliament loses credibility with statements ignoring the reality of the situation in the country. A handful of MEPs are endangering the European Parliament's reputation in fighting for human rights, democracy and rule of law. EP delegations should result in an independent, inclusive and comprehensive evaluation of the situation on the ground, in good cooperation with the OSCE/ODIHR and domestic observers. Otherwise they are a waste of taxpayers' money."