Accessibility links

Azerbaijani Opposition Body To Present 'Road Map To Democracy'

Members of Public Chamber in conference earlier this month

Members of Public Chamber in conference earlier this month

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's opposition Public Chamber is to present authorities later this week with a plan it calls a "road map to democracy," RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The umbrella movement on August 22 launched a three-day discussion of the plan, which it hopes will serve as the basis for a broad dialogue on resolving the problems the country faces. It will be submitted to the authorities on August 27.

The roadmap, first unveiled in May and since reworked, consists of three phases.

The first is the creation of the appropriate political environment, including a political amnesty, ensuring freedom of assembly, and protecting civic rights.

The second envisages establishing the legislative and organizational basis for democratic reforms, including amendments to the election law and constitution.

The third phase envisages the formation of a legitimate government by means of democratic elections.

The original draft was written by former parliamentarian Panah Huseyn. It was reworked by political scientist Zafar Quliyev.

Huseyn told RFE/RL that some of his original provisions, including allowing mass meetings on Baku's Azadliq Square and giving the Public Chamber airtime on state-controlled media, have been removed from the revised draft.

Some Public Chamber members have suggested including provisions on economic reforms and freedoms, simplifying the tax system, and guaranteeing property rights.

The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) has already rejected the roadmap.

YAP deputy executive secretary Mubariz Qurbanli told local media any document prepared by the Public Chamber is meaningless.

He said Azerbaijan is a democratic country in which the transition has already ended, except for the transformation of "the radical and rusty opposition into a modernized one."

The Public Chamber was established late last year by mainstream opposition parties and veteran political figures.

Read more in Azeri here and here