Report on current situation on the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights on the right to free elections

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The member states of the Council of Europe have committed themselves to securing the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention within their jurisdictions by signing the Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms. By signing the Convention, Member States have adopted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, established under the Convention, whose decisions are binding on member states. In other words, Member States have undertaken to execute the decisions of the European Court concerning them. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is responsible for the implementation of these decisions. Azerbaijan undertook to fulfill these commitments by becoming a member of the Council of Europe in 2001 and ratifying the Convention. However, there are frequent problems with the execution of the Court’s decisions by the Azerbaijani government.

In the 2005 and 2010 parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, the European Court has made a total of 23 verdicts that the Court has declared that more than 50 applicants’ passive suffrage have been violated. Despite the requirements of the EC on the implementation of these decisions, the Azerbaijani government did not comply with the requirements and recommendations of the MC on general measures envisaging the improvement of election legislation to ensure free and fair elections, even though the applicants were paid compensation.

The main purpose of this document is to analyze the implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on violations of the passive suffrage and to describe the current situation with regard to election law and election practice, to demonstrate the difficulties of implementing the requirements and recommendations of the Council of Europe Cabinet of Ministers and to conclude recommendations for steps to be taken to ensure free and fair elections.

The document was compiled by EMDS on the decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Azerbaijan in violation of the electoral right and the decisions adopted by the Council of Europe Cabinet of Ministers, which oversees the execution of these decisions. The document refers to the reports of the OSCE / ODIHR, as well as the reports on EMDS’s parliamentary and presidential elections in Azerbaijan.

The EMDS is a non-governmental organization working for holding free and fair elections, as well as development of civil society and democracy in Azerbaijan. EMDS was established by founders and members of Election Monitoring Center (EMC), the registration of which was annulled in 2008.

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