With that proviso firmly in mind, it's also important to understand that CNE is not run by a gaggle of angels. The list of grievances with the Elections Authority has grown longer, not shorter, since last year's referendum. At the moment, the key items are:
It's true that even without these various manipulations, the government would still win the election. That does not make them acceptable. Hopefully, the EU elections observation mission will take note.
Just last week, the OSCE produced a harsh report on the Azerbaijani elections for irregularities roughly comparable to those outlined above, despite the fact that the Azerbaijani government would likely have won those elections even without fraud. We urge the EU EOM to apply European standards consistently.