Bob Lawrence's July 23 letter inaccurately characterized my views on democratic reform in Azerbaijan.

I believe in democratic reform using peaceful means, and I have always acted accordingly. Had Mr. Lawrence witnessed the events of October 2003, he would know that I repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution to the election. As the opposition leader today, I continue to advocate for a peaceful transition of power through an open and transparent democratic process.

The first important step toward a peaceful transition is to ensure free and fair parliamentary elections in November. While the government of Ilham Aliyev has talked the talk in this regard, it has been woefully short on action. Even now, the government could take a step in the right direction and comply with Azeri election law. I have called on the government to adhere to this law and make the voter lists public well in advance of the election so that citizens can confirm their registration and be allowed to vote.

Let's save the praise for Mr. Aliyev for when he lives up to his commitment to democratic reform rather than falsely painting the position of the opposition.



Musavat Party

Baku, Azerbaijan