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Democracy Training Center harshly criticized presidential election: Azerbaijani General Prosecutor's Office conducts search

The Investigation Department of Grave Crimes of the General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan filed a criminal case and carried out the first investigative steps concerning the Center for Monitoring of Elections and Democracy Training, reports the Azerbaijani portal "Haqqin.az."


Employees of the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General office started the search at 11.00 in Baku time at the Centre office in Baku. During the search, officers seized the financial statements of the Prosecutor General office and financial documents of the Centre, computers, press releases and other internal documents. The head of the Center Anar Mammadov has so far refused to comment on the case.

As the portal reports, the representatives of the General Prosecutor’s office are interested in the financial documentation of the NGO. "Apparently, the inspection is related to the issue of illegal grants by the U.S. National Democratic Institute. In connection with the investigation secrecy Mamedli refrained from further comments," the article notes.

According to the Azerbaijani news agency "Turan" Center for Monitoring of Elections and Democracy Training is included in the European Network of Electoral Monitoring Organizations ENEMO and is a member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), which unites 12 NGOs from Russia, the European Union and countries of Eastern Partnership. Observers of the Center for Monitoring of Elections and Democracy Training watched the presidential election on October 9 for 15 per cent of polling stations covering all 120 districts, and noted numerous violations of the law.

“Strange in this case is that the tax matter is checked not by the Ministry of Taxes, but the prosecutor's office, which reinforces suspicions of political background of the check of an independent and credible NGO,” Turan notes. Earlier this spring, the prosecutor's office arranged a check and sealed the office of a non-profit organization Free Thought University - an educational project, implemented with the support of U.S. donors.

In addition, under pressure from the authorities of Azerbaijan the activities of the National Democratic Institute of the United States were actually suspended after the government-controlled media gave a leak on banking operations of the head of the Baku office of the American NGO, Turan reminds.

“Center for Monitoring of Elections and Democracy Training is the main lair of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, which is specialized in organizing color revolutions in countries undesirable for the United States. It is this institution that actively participated in organization of the Orange Revolution in 2005 and was one of the main partners of the American Institute in Azerbaijan. This institute used to send many members of the "new orange generation" for trainings to countries of export revolutions - to Georgia, Ukraine, etc." "Haqqin.az" says.

In March 2013, Attorney General Zakir Garalov accused the representative of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Azerbaijan Alex Grigorevsa in committing unlawful acts, stating that around 2 million dollars were withdrawn from Grigorevs’ bank account without noting the purpose of the withdrawal. Earlier, Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev published an article titled "2 million dollars for “Facebook revolution", accusing the U.S. organization in financing the Azerbaijani opposition. U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland rejected these accusations, saying that all NGOs, based in the U.S., act strictly within the rules and do not fund any political party or any individual ideological approaches.

This time the review by the General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan was also preceded by an article of "Haqqin.az" portal, which stated that "the U.S. started to fund the Azerbaijani opposition." According to the portal the "reliable sources" report that, Center for Monitoring of Elections and Democracy Training had received about $ 300,000 for the monitoring of the presidential election from a fund that is close to NDI." The Head of the portal Mamedli stated that the subsidies allocated by the U.S. have been spent transparently, and the center has already given its donors account and the NDI has provided a technical support to elections monitoring project.

One of the most odious Azerbaijani MPs, former presidential candidate, MP Zahid Oruc stated in connection with this information that "the U.S. for the sake of its interests, through such organizations as the National Institute for Democracy, is trying to impose its interests to other countries, particularly to Azerbaijan."

"Unfortunately, the Warsaw OSCE (ODIHR) office has turned into an American spy den. The U.S. Embassy and the NDI controlled the monitoring through this particular NGO," he said, noting that the NDI is the main weapon of the United States in Azerbaijan, and the U.S. is aimed at strengthening the U.S. opposition.

On October 9 presidential election were held in Azerbaijan during which incumbent President Ilham Aliyev received 84.54% of votes. Jamil Hasanli, a single candidate from the opposition National Council of Democratic Forces, was on the second place. He scored 5.53% of the vote.

The joint statement of the ODIHR / OSCE observation mission and the Parliamentary Assembly, noted that the presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan in terms of restriction of freedom of speech and assembly. In its turn, the Minister for European Affairs David Lidington stated that the British Foreign Ministry shares the OSCE / ODIHR’s opinion that the presidential elections held in Azerbaijan failed to meet the commitments with OSCE. Opinion of the OSCE and the United Kingdom are also divided the U.S. Department of State.

In its turn, the Minister for European Affairs David Lidington stated that the British Foreign Ministry shares the OSCE / ODIHR’s opinion that the presidential elections held in Azerbaijan failed to meet the commitments with OSCE. The UK and the U.S. State Department shared OSCE opinion.

Source: Panorama.am
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