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Article 40

Transparency in the Activity of the Election Commissions

40.1. The activity of election commissions must be transparent for voters.

40.2. Members of election commissions, candidates registered within the relevant constituency and their authorized representatives/agents, agents of referendum campaign groups, and agents of political parties and blocs of political parties shall have the right to:

• observe vote counting and meetings of election commissions;
• familiarize themselves with, and observe the processing of, the ballot papers, voters’ lists, de-registration cards for voting, and protocols on results and Returns of the voting in the Precinct and Constituency Election Commissions;
• obtain copies of the decisions of the Constituency and Precinct Election Commissions and other election documents (except for voter lists, deregistration cards for voting, election ballot papers and signature sheets);
• observe implementation of other election activities in election commissions.

40.3. Persons mentioned in Article 40.2 of this Code shall not be required to get additional permission of the election commissions or be registered as observers in order to attend the meetings of the relevant election commissions or become familiarized with the above-mentioned documents. The relevant election commissions shall ensure free access to such persons of the locations where election documents are being processed or votes are being counted.

40.4. Citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan possessing active suffrage rights and the foreigners mentioned in Article 44 of this Code may act as observers.

40.5. The observer may carry out observation based on his/her own initiative or the initiative of a registered candidate, political party, bloc of political parties, referendum campaign group or a non-governmental organization working in the field of elections.

40.6. Applications for carrying out observation within the entire territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan may be submitted to the Central Election Commission from the day the decision (order) on the appointment of elections is officially published up to 10 days prior to elections. Applications shall indicate the observer’s surname, forename, patronymic, place of residence, and ID card series and number. If necessary, applications shall also indicate the name of the candidate whose interests are being represented, the name of the referendum campaign group or the names and legal addresses of the non-governmental organization, political party or bloc of political parties. Two photos shall be attached to the application. Decisions on each application should be made within 3 days from the date of submission. Applications for observation may be rejected only if the information provided in the application is not confirmed. If conduct of observation is not permitted by the Central Election Commission, a complaint regarding this decision may be appealed at the court. In the case the observation is allowed, the observer shall be provided with a badge prepared corresponding to the rules established by the Central Election Commission.

40.7. Applications for carry out observation within the territory of an election constituency may be presented to the relevant Constituency Election Commission from the day elections the decision (order) on the appointment of elections is officially published up to 5 days prior to elections. Applications shall indicate the observer’s surname, forename, patronymic, place of residence, ID card series and number and, if necessary, the name of the referendum campaign group or names and legal addresses of the non-governmental organization, political party or bloc of political parties. Two photos shall be attached to the application. Decisions on each application should be made within 2 days from the date of submission. Applications for observation can be rejected only if the information provided in the application is not confirmed. If conduct of observation is not permitted by the Constituency Election Commission, a complaint regarding this decision may be filed with the Central Election Commission. In the case observation is allowed, the Constituency Election Commission shall provide the observer with a badge prepared corresponding to the rules established by the Central Election Commission.

40.8. Representatives of the mass media shall have the right to participate in election commissions’ meetings and in the course of work regarding elections documents and vote counting.

40.9. In accordance with the rules articulated in Article 20.1 of this Code, the relevant election commission shall provide information on the time of processing of election documents and meetings of the election commission to: the superior election commissions, each registered candidate and his/her authorized representative, agents of political parties and blocs of political parties which have registered candidates, agents of referendum campaign groups and observers entitled to be present at commission meetings.

40.10. Representatives of the interested parties shall have the right to be present at the meetings at which elections commissions are investigating the officially submitted complaints.

40.11. In accordance with this Code, the election commissions shall inform the citizens on:

• the biography of each candidate registered in accordance with this
• the results of registration;
• the list of candidates;
• other information received by the election commission about
candidates; and
• results of voting regarding the referendum issue or candidates.

40.12. The persons mentioned in Article 40.2 of this Code, as well as observers, international observers and representatives of the mass media, may observe the implementation of election activities, the determining of voting results and election (referendum) returns, the completion of protocols of voting results and election (referendum) returns (overall returns) and the counting and recounting of votes in all election commissions.

40.13. Only the observers who have obtained specific permission by being registered with the Central Election Commission, in accordance with the rules defined by the Central Election Commission for getting this right, shall have the right to observe meetings of the election commission up to Voting Day. This right should be indicated on the badge provided by the Central Election Commission. Such observers shall be identified by the Central Election Commission by means of drawing of lots, with a condition that each of the subjects provided for in Article 40.5 of this Code shall have one observer with such a right (separately for each election commission), and that the number of such observers for each commission shall not exceed 10. No specific permission shall be required to observe a meeting of an election commission on Voting Day.

40.14. Unimpeded access to voting rooms of any of the electoral precincts, including those established in military units, hospitals, sanatoriums, rest homes and oil platforms located in the Caspian Sea, should be ensured for all election commission members, persons mentioned in Article 40.2 of this Code and observers.

40.15. On Voting Day, every authorized person in the polling station, including members of the Precinct Election Commission, persons specified in Article 40.2 of this Code and mass media representatives, should have a badge of a specific form determined by the Central Election Commission to allow for establishing their status, which displays their surname, forename, patronymic, position and picture.

40.16. An observer should have a badge, indicating his/her surname, forename, patronymic, address, election commission (commissions) he/she is assigned to, the name of the registered candidate he/she represents, and the political party, bloc of political parties, referendum campaign group, or non-governmental organizations whose interests the observer represents. This badge shall be valid only if it is supported by an identification card or other substitute document. Advance information about an observer’s visit is not required.

40.17. A list of persons present at the polling station during Voting Day and observing the election activities shall be maintained by the secretary of the Precinct Election Commission.