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An opposition demonstration in Baku (file photo)
27 July 2005 -- The United States says authorities in Azerbaijan should do more to battle recent voting fraud if they are to build trust in the voting process ahead of a November parliamentary poll.
U.S. Undersecretary for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky said at a news conference in the Azerbaijani capital Baku today that Azerbaijani authorities should prosecute recent election fraud to build the people's trust in the elections commissions and processes.
Dobriansky said that there were more than 100 cases of fraud in municipal elections in Azerbaijan in December of last year, none of which has been addressed.
She said there are a number of issues -- like freedom of assembly, equal access to the media for all candidates, and a transparent and accurate vote count -- that are crucial for ensuring the elections meet international standards.
Dobriansky said the United States will fund an independent and objective exit poll to deter electoral fraud during the November vote.
U.S. To Finance Exit Poll In Azerbaijan Election