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Milli Mejlis (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Milli Mejlis / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)6 November 2005
3 May 2006
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
On 4 July 2005 President Ilham Aliyev called parliamentary elections for 6 November 2005. The elections were the third since the country's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Following constitutional amendments approved by a 2002 referendum all 125 seats in the unicameral parliament (Milli Mejlis) are elected on a first-past-the-post basis. Previously the country had used a proportional representation system for 25 seats.

In the 2000 parliamentary elections the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) and its allies won 108 seats. Three main opposition parties won a total of 11 seats: the Popular Front Party (6) the Citizens' Solidarity Party (3) and the Communist Party (2). The remaining seats went to other small parties and independent candidates. These elections had been widely criticized as falling short of international standards.

Sporadic political unrest had been a common feature in the country since the controversial presidential elections held in 2003. The 2005 elections were seen by many observers as a test for the country's democracy.

Before the 2005 elections several candidates in the 2003 presidential elections formed new political blocs calling for the promotion of democracy. In April 2005 the New Politics (YeS) bloc was formed by Mr. Etibar Mammadov. In July 2005 the Azadliq (Freedom) bloc was formed by three opposition parties: the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan led by former parliamentary speaker Mr. Rasul Guliyev the Musavat Party of Mr. Isa Qambar and the Popular Front of Mr. Ali Karimli.

More than 1 500 candidates contested the parliamentary elections: 431 from the NAP 116 representing Azadliq followed by 69 YeS candidates. Another opposition party the Liberal Party of Azerbaijan fielded 68 candidates. Many other candidates ran as independents.

The NAP called for voters' support for its economic policy and in the interest of the country's stability which it argued had contributed to the rapid economic development of the country. The Azadliq bloc called for greater freedom.

During the election campaign major political parties and blocs were given four minutes of free airtime everyday. This measure was welcomed by both opposition groups and international observers.

About 40 per cent of the 4.6 million registered voters turned out at the polls down from 62 per cent in the previous elections. The elections went off in relative calm. Nearly 2 000 international observers mainly from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) monitored the election process. The OSCE welcomed certain improvements in the pre-election period in particular in the candidate registration process. It concluded however that the elections "did not meet a number of OSCE commitments and Council of Europe standards and commitments for democratic elections" criticizing the voter registration process and continuous restrictions on the freedom of assembly.

Official results gave 56 seats to the NAP and nine to the Azadliq bloc. The remainder went to other parties and independent candidates including NAP allies. Ten seats remain unfilled after results were cancelled due to complaints of irregularities (Re-runs for these seats are due to take place on 13 May 2006). Opposition blocs claimed that the elections had been rigged and organized peaceful protests against the vote on 8 November 2005.

The newly elected National Assembly held its first session on 2 December 2005 and elected Mr. Oqtay Asadov from the NAP as new speaker. The nine deputies from the opposition did not attend the session.
Voter turnout
Round no 16 November 2005
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'891'977 (40.47%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
New Azerbaidjan Party 431
Independents and others
Azadliq bloc 116
Justice Party
Citizens' Solidarity Party
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Election of May 2006
New Azerbaidjan Party 61 5
Independents and others 53 3
Azadliq bloc 9 0
Justice Party 1 1
Citizens' Solidarity Party 1 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
21 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Over 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Engineers/PC experts 17
Scientists 16
Legal professions 15
Business/trade/industry employees including executives 11
Unemployed 10
Economists 8
Media-related professions (journalists/publishers) 8
Civil/public servants/administrators (including social/development workers) 7
Medical professions (doctors dentists nurses) 6
Educators 6
Liberal professions (including artists authors) and sports professionals 4
Farmers/agricultural workers (including wine growers) 2
Military/police officers 2
Others 2
Bankers (including invest bankers)/accountants 1
Source: National Assembly (01.01.2008)

Distribution of seats for Azadliq (Freedom) bloc (elections in 2005)
- The Musavat Party: five seats;
- The Popular Front: three seats;
- The Democratic Party of Azerbaijan: one seats.

- Ten seats remained unfilled after results had been cancelled due to complaints of irregularities. In all 15 women were elected.
- On 20 January 2006 the Azerbaijani Central Electoral Commission stripped the leader of the opposition National Unity Movement and the Liberal Party of Azerbaijan Ms. Lala Sovkat Haciyeva of her mandate. The number of women was thus reduced to 14 (IPU Group 07.02.2006).
- Re-elections on 13 May 2006 were held only for the ten unfilled seats. No woman was elected. The seat vacated by Ms. Lala Sovkat Haciyeva remained vacant. (IPU Group 06.06.2006).

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