Azerbaijan: Fresh claims of Azerbaijan vote-rigging at European human rights body

Author(s): Jennifer Rankin | Date: April 20, 2017 | Language: English
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/l | URL: https://goo.gl/M5sWzM | Type: Text

One of Europe’s oldest human rights bodies is being urged to set up a far-reaching anti-corruption investigation next week, amid fresh allegations of vote rigging that have put its credibility on the line.
Two people with high-level experience of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly (Pace) have told the Guardian they believe its members have been offered bribes for votes by Azerbaijan. The 324-member body is made up of delegates from national parliaments who meet four times a year in Strasbourg.
Arif Mammadov, a former Azerbaijani diplomat turned dissident, alleged that a member of the oil-rich country’s delegation at the Council of Europe had €30m (£25m) to spend on lobbying its institutions, including the Council of Europe assembly.