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Does boycotting elections create criminal liability?

Does boycotting elections create criminal liability?

Short summary of the news

- Chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP), Sardar Jalaloglu, said that boycotting elections is a crime according to the Law on Political Parties.

- According to the Law on Political Parties, although one of the activities of the parties is to participate in elections and referendums, the law does not provide any punishment for the failure of the parties to participate in the elections. The law states that political parties have rights and duties in accordance with the Election Code regarding participation in elections. The Election Code does not impose any obligation on parties to participate in elections.

- Penalties for actions related to elections are mentioned in Articles 159-161 of the Criminal Code. This includes obstructing the exercise of the citizen's electoral rights, violating the rules of participation in the election, interfering with the work of election commissions, falsifying election documents, knowingly not counting votes correctly, or violating the secrecy of voting.

Some parties have decided not to participate in the extraordinary presidential elections scheduled for February 7, 2024. Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP), Sardar Jalaloglu, said in a statement to the "bakivaxti.az" website that boycotting the elections is a crime according to the Law on Political Parties.

Fakt Yoxla checked whether boycotting the elections was a crime or not.

When we say "boycott", we mean the non-participation of political organizations in the elections, as well as calling citizens not to participate in the elections and organized activities in this direction. The Musavat Party has decided not to participate in the elections, and the APFP has announced that it will boycott the elections.

According to the Law on Political Parties, although one of the activities of the parties is to participate in elections and referendums, the law does not provide any punishment for the failure of the parties to participate in the elections. The law states that political parties have rights and duties in accordance with the Election Code regarding participation in elections. The Election Code does not impose any obligation on parties to participate in elections.

In the Criminal Code, the punishments for actions related to elections are mentioned in articles 159-161. This includes obstructing the exercise of the citizen's electoral rights, violating the rules of participation in the election, interfering with the work of election commissions, falsifying election documents, knowingly not counting votes correctly, or violating the secrecy of voting.

It should be noted that obstructing the exercise of electoral rights means creating various obstacles in the implementation of the citizen's right to elect and be elected to state bodies, imposing unreasonable conditions against them, refusing to include them in the voter list, and other actions (or inactions). Boycott is not evaluated in this framework because it is an element of political activity.

Fakt Yoxla concludes that Sardar Jalaloglu's claim that it is a crime for parties to boycott elections was False.

False
  • 29 December, 2023
  • 1062

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