azay guliyev odihr seminarAzay Guliyev addresses ODIHR seminar in Vienna, 28 November 2017VIENNA, 28 November 2017 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President Azay Guliyev (MP, Azerbaijan) today participated in a seminar focused on election observation and the role of technology. Vice-President Guliyev spoke in a session related to OSCE Commitments, International Obligations and Other Standards for Democratic Elections.

Noting the excellent work conducted by the OSCE in the field of election observation, he urged a focus on the real principles behind international agreements and warned against complacency.

“We must not feel overly secure. Having a comprehensive range of regulations will not necessarily avoid facing challenges that can undermine the principle that the will of the people is the basis for authority of the government,” said Guliyev.

Discussing a range of challenges related to democracy in the OSCE, Guliyev warned against abuses such as the falsification of information, noting that “efforts at democracy will unavoidably fail if we do not have an informed society.” He also raised issues related to low voter turnout and confidence in electoral systems.

The OSCE, he said, is well served by its agreements and established functioning, and he noted significant efforts to ensure that all OSCE countries are held accountable to their democratic commitments. Guliyev stressed, however, that efforts to undermine credible election observation efforts should be of concern to all OSCE countries.

In addressing the seminar participants, Guliyev, who recently served Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission for the 15 October elections in Kyrgyzstan, drew on his experience from observing elections in ten OSCE countries.

The seminar in Vienna was organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, under the theme ‘Election Observation and the Role of Technology in Electoral Processes’. Last July in Minsk, the OSCE PA adopted a resolution that called on OSCE participating States to be at the forefront of developing new ways to observe elections where new voting technologies are used.

For the full remarks by Guliyev, please click here.