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Council Of Europe Criticizes Baku Over Elections

13 October 2005 -- A visiting Council of Europe delegation sharply criticized Azerbaijan today over its preparations for the 6 November parliamentary poll.

In a written statement, the delegation said several of its earlier recommendations had so far been ignored by the authorities. It noted a lack of opposition representation on election commissions, as well as a failure to introduce the marking of voters' fingers with indelible ink in order to prevent multiple voting.

The statement said it is not too late for the authorities to take corrective measures. The delegation also criticized the police for using what it called "disproportionate violence and brutality, bordering on cruelty" while quelling a series of unauthorized opposition rallies in recent weeks.


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