A hundred years ago, a democratic republic was founded for the first time in the East, Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani president's assistant for public and political affairs said in his speech about political dialogue and reforms at the15th meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee in Baku on Monday, APA reports.
Hasanov said the independent Republic of Azerbaijan is the legitimate heir to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
"The establishment of a legal and democratic state in Azerbaijan and formation of free economic relations are the main goals. Unfortunately, in the early years of independence, Azerbaijan faced Armenia’s aggressive policy. The international political situation as well as the incompetence of then-government leaders led to a recession in Azerbaijan. With Heydar Aliyev’s coming to power, transition to development and liberal economy began. The essence of President Ilham Aliyev's policy is the promotion of human rights and freedoms, development of civil society institutions; a consistent policy is being carried out in this direction,” he said.
Hasanov then spoke about political parties, non-governmental organizations and media outlets operating in Azerbaijan.
He noted that favorable conditions were created for political parties to act freely in Azerbaijan.
"The law sets very simple requirements for state registration of parties. Currently, there are 55 registered parties in Azerbaijan,” he said.
Hasanov recalled that the law on political parties was amended in May 2012.
“Every year 2.5 million manats are allocated from the state budget to finance political parties. Forty percent of these funds are proportionally distributed to the parties elected to the parliament, and 50 percent to the number of parliament members. Ten percent of the funds are distributed among parties that have won at least 3 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections. Currently, seven opposition parties are represented in the parliament," the top official added.
Hasanov emphasized that the Azerbaijani legislation allows NGOs to operate freely.
“The state is currently finances projects of NGOs through the Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations and the Youth Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as other government agencies,” the president's assistant said.
Hasanov said that the focus will be on improving the mechanism of cooperation between state and public organizations.
“NGOs will be involved in the development of important state programs. The law “On public participation”, which came into force in 2014, serves this purpose. According to the law, public councils have been established under central executive bodies,” he added.
Hasanov also spoke about the work done in connection with e-government.
“One of the main purposes in this area is the provision of electronic services to NGOs,” he added.