In the spirit of the upcming parliamentary elections scheduled to take place November 1, the head of the Central Election Commission in Azerbaijan, Mazahir Panahov welcomed all of the observers or at least those who are interested.
"Whoever is coming to observe the elections in Azerbaijan, welcome. For those who are not coming, well, that is their personal business", said Panahov according to APA.az
"Our priority is that the people in Azerbaijan are satisfied with the elections. Secondly, the public values highly the efforts to present Azerbaijan's interests and reality at any stage, format, and anywhere in the world. That is why, I do not want to dwell on someone's biased attitude. This is not part of responsibility. Each institution has its own internal policy", commented Panahov.
The comments came as a reaction to the recent decision of the Organization for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) not to send any observers to the parliamentary elections expected in November.
"The restriction on the number of observers taking part would make it impossible for the mission to carry out effective and credible election observation," the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said in a press release on September 11.
Azerbaijan's permanent mission to the OSCE said in August that the country was ready to accept only six long-term and not more than 125 short-term ODIHR observers instead of 30 long-term and 350 short-term international monitors.
Azerbaijan cancelled a visit by a European Commission delegation on September 11 and said it might "review" relations with the EU after the bloc's parliament called on Baku to free investigative journalist and RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova and several human rights activists, including Leyla Yunus.
Previous elections in the oil-rich nation led by President Ilham Aliyev for the last 12 years have been criticized by international observers.