Development toward democracy and rule of law has stagnated in Azerbaijan and the the rule of law and freedom of speech in Azerbaijan are fundamentally flawed. These were among the pertinent issues discussed today when MEP Gunnar Hökmark held meetings with the leadership of National Independence Party of Azerbaijan, a pro-western and pro-European party with clear centre-right positions in its party platform.
– I join the call for rule of law and a European path of democratic development in Azerbaijan, MEP Gunnar Hökmark said today during talks with Mr. Yusif Baghirzade, the Chairman of NIPA.
– Dictatorships are closer to Europe than we normally care to recall. The last dictatorships of Europe have not fallen and neither freedom nor peace is self-evident, Gunnar Hökmark underlined.
Further, the discussions focussed on the challenge for the party to accommodate a new generation of politicians, as young people are afraid to get involved in opposition political parties.
Freedom of opinion and expression is severely limited and there is no real protection of property rights. Presidential and parliamentary elections have been heavily criticized for extensive election fraud.