Ayaz Mutalibov (file photo) (official site)
5 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Election officials in Azerbaijan's capital today authorized former President Ayaz Mutalibov to run as a candidate in the 6 November parliamentary elections.
Mutalibov, who is wanted in Azerbaijan for his alleged failure to prevent the loss of territory to Armenian forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, has been living in Russia since his resignation in 1992.
Another prominent political exile, former parliamentary speaker Rasul Quliyev, was registered as a candidate last month.
The Council of Europe, of which Azerbaijan is a member, has long demanded that both Quliyev and Mutalibov be allowed to take part in Azerbaijan's political life. But the Prosecutor-General's Office has warned that both men would be arrested as soon as they come back to the country. T
he secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis, who is on a visit to Baku, today insisted that the upcoming parliamentary polls should be free and fair.