5. Oct 2004

27. Sitzung
der Periode 2004

Zum Einleitungsvotum

Schlussvotum zur Diskussion
des Aserbaidschan-Berichtes

Mr GROSS (Switzerland). - I join my colleague in thanking you, Mr President. I also ask colleagues not to be too optimistic or too superficial. It is a fact that the parliament in Azerbaijan is not really autonomous and that the juridical system obeys political orders too much. Too many people are imprisoned for no reason and - this is important - laws and obligations must not just be signed and adopted in the parliament, but implemented in the society. As long as any one person is afraid of speaking out and saying that he does not agree with the government - because he will be punished - that is one person too many. In the next municipal elections, we want people in all cities and regions to discuss politics and we do not want the government and the police to harass anyone who does not share the opinion of the government. I am happy that Mr Seyidov is indicating that he agrees, and it is true that there has been a change in the relationship between the rapporteurs and the parliamentary delegation.

We insist that more people profit from the country's wealth and from the new developments in the country. However, one must go to the regions and not just stay in the capital. The country is like France: if you only know Paris, you will not understand the country. One must travel to the regions in Azerbaijan where many people are suffering economically and are not allowed to criticise the government. We need to provide them with a perspective and they need to share in the country's wealth. It is not enough to have a social product. The question is who profits from it. Everyone, and not just a small oligarchy, must share in the profits of the petrol. The petrol belongs to the whole country and not only to the rich.

Everyone needs a safe and natural environment and we must realise those obligations and not just speak about them. We are happy that the president is willing to do that and we hope that, in the next months and year, the system will develop more than it has done until now.

Andreas Gross

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