June 20th, 2008

Aflatun Amashev re-elected as Press Council Chairman.

Today (20 June) Azerbaijani Journalists conducted Fifth Congress. Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov made an opening statement and then the Congress proceeded with the creation of Presidium, Secretary, Quantity and Mandate Commissions. Then the time-limit and agenda were confirmed.  

During the Congress some discussions were conducted in relation to the amendments and changes suggested for the Press Council Regulations. Press Council Administrative Staff members Arif Aliyev, Gulu Maharramli, and Zeynal Mammadli appealed to Congress participants not to adopt the amendments and changes to the regulations. However, the amendments and changes were approved. According to the amendments and changes, that council chairman will now serve for four years not two, and the clause forbidding the same person from being elected chairman more than twice was removed.

The Press Council and council’s Supervision-Inspection Commission read their reports.  A remark about doing work to free the imprisoned journalists was reflected in the Press Council’s reports. Both reports were considered were approved by the Congress participants. 

Voting on members to the Press Council’s Administrative Staff was conducted before lunch break. The staff consists of 15 members, nine of which are press representatives and six that are public representatives. As a result of voting, the following people were elected as members of the Press Council’s Administrative Staff:

Media representatives – Aflatun Amashov, Rashad Majid (525-ji newspaper editor-in-chief), Bakhtiyar Sadigov (“Azerbaijan” newspaper editor-in-chief), Vugar Rahimzade (“Iki Sahil” newspaper editor-in-chief), Vusala Mahirgizi (Head of APA), Mehman Aliyev (“Turan” Information Agency director), Umid Mirzayev (Head of International Eurasia Press Fund), Elchin Shikhli (“Ayna”-“Zerkalo” Newspapers editor-in-chief, Head of Azerbaijani Journalist Union), Tapdig Abbas (“Paralel” newspaper editor-in-chief), Akif Ashirli (“Sharg” newspaper editor-in-chief, reserve member), Aydin Guliyev (“Baki Khabar” newspaper editor-in-chief, reserve member).

Public representatives – Vugar Safarli (Chairman of “Azermatbuat yayimi” Public Union), Haji Sabir Hasanli (Islam University Director), Agil Abbas (National Deputy), Kamal Abdulla (Writer), Mushfig Alasgarli (Head of Journalist Union), Jamil Hasanli (National deputy), Qafar Chakhmagli (Head of League of Independent Journalist Investigation, reserve member),  Gulu Maharramli (TV journalist, reserve member)

The new chairman of the Press Council was chosen by the members of Administrative Staff in accordance to the council’s procedures. Agil Abbas, Umid Mirzayev and Rashad Majid withdrew their candidacy in favor of Aflatun Amashov. After this voting, Aflatun Amashov was elected as the chairman of the Press Council for the third time. Out of 218 congress representatives, only one voted against Aflatun Amashov and four remained neutral.