President Aliev’s election campaign projects him as a visionary leader.
President Ilham Aliev has addressed the issue of corruption in Azerbaijan in a tough speech a few days before presidential elections. Corruption has been one of the issues raised by the opposition candidate Camil Hasanli during his television broadcasts as part of the election campaign. Although Aliev is not participating himself in the election debates he has made numerous speeches, usually whilst opening new government facilities.
One such event happened on 30 September when Aliev opened the new offices of the Anti corruption unit within the prosecutors’ office and this gave him the opportunity to address the issue of corruption head-on.
The following is an extract of his speech: More…
CEW interviewed Murad Gassanly, the official representative of the Chairman of Azerbaijani National Council of Democratic Forces in the United Kingdom, about the plans of the opposition and the situation around the elections in Azerbaijan:
Q1: It seems that the opposition in Azerbaijan has been able for the first time to unite behind a single candidate and political platform ahead of the forthcoming Presidential elections. How important is this step? To what extent has compromise been necessary, and possible?
This is indeed an unprecedented development in Azerbaijani politics – all major political parties, organisations and civil society groups are united within the framework of the National Council, and a common candidate has been chosen to represent the democratic movement in this election. There have been previous attempts to unite the opposition but the National Council is a qualitatively different structure. More…
Ahead of Presidential Elections in Azerbaijan, political analyst Dennis Sammut looks at the background to the current political situation and the likely post-election scenario.
Many consider that the result of the presidential elections due to be held in Azerbaijan on 9 October is a foregone conclusion. Some polls commissioned by pro-government sources are already predicting that 90% of those voting will cast their ballot in favour of the incumbent President Ilham Aliev. The opposition claims, and many international observers agree, that the political space for those opposing the government in Azerbaijan is narrower now than at any time since the collapse of the USSR, of which Azerbaijan was one of the constituent republics.
So why is the government, the opposition, the international community and others bothering to go through the motions of having an election, and of engaging with it in different ways? The answer is that there is a political debate and process going on in Azerbaijan, in public, but mostly under the surface. The Presidential election is not the most important part of it by far, but with all its shortcomings it is still an essential piece of the jigsaw for both government and opposition. More…
Senior Presidential Administration official, Elnur Aslanov told AzerTaj news Agency that Azerbaijan does not interfere with the freedom of internet users and that 70% of the population was now on-line.
The government in Azerbaijan has provided all opportunities for citizens to have a free access to information. There is a free internet in the country. There are thousands of free bloggers on an internet space of Azerbaijan. There are tens of online radios, online TVs, hundreds of e-newspapers and e-magazines. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are extremely popular among the population. Social networks have become an integral part of our lives. It has also become a space of political discussions and exchange of view. Internet has already become a part of daily lives of people in Azerbaijan. The state is the first providing a free internet access for every citizen. More…
The TV debate on 17 September
It may be short, and in many ways it is also sharp, but the 22-day campaign ahead of Presidential elections in Azerbaijan next month is anything but sweet. So far the campaign is characterised by heated exchanges between representatives of the incumbent president, Ilham Aliev, and the candidate of the opposition National Council, Camil Hassanli.
In the first televised debate of the campaign Hassanli clashed with the Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, Ali Akmedov in scenes that would be considered common in many other countries, but which for Azerbaijan were highly unusual. Azerbaijan’s opposition has for most of the time over the last five years been restricted to criticising the government on the internet and through the medium of its own newspapers. Now after a long time opposition spokespersons were on national television, accusing the government of corruption and mismanagement of the country. Contact.az reported that “in the first round of debates on September 17, Camil Hassanli threw down the gauntlet to Ilham Aliyev, and unexpectedly, even for other panelists, directly accused the current president of corruption and embezzlement of billions of funds.”
Government spokesmen on their party continue to characterise the opposition as incompetent, divided and acting in the interests of foreigners. Ilham Aliev’s campaign, which is being spearheaded by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party is focusing primarily on the achievements of the government in eradicating poverty, developing the country ,and creating a strong state. Pro Aliev spokespersons dismiss accusations that the there is no freedom of speech in Azerbaijan, citing complete internet freedom and plurality within the printed media. More…
The Azerbaijani Central Elections Commission has refused to register Ilgar Mammedov as a candidate in next month’s Presidential elections, saying that some of the signatures of the 40,000 needed to nominate a Presidential candidate were false. Mammedov is currently in jail accused of inciting violence during incidents in the region of Ismail last January. Amnesty International has declared him a prisoner of conscience.
The Azerbaijani Central Elections Commission stated that Ilgar Mammedov had submitted 41 247 signatures and 4 982 out of them turned out to be invalid.
According to the Azerbaijani Press Agency (APA) CEC chairman Mazahir Panahov said that representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan also took part in the checking process of the signatures, along with the representatives of international organization: “In general, all our steps are clear.” However, the Press service of the US Embassy in Azerbaijan told APA that the Embassy did not play any role in the process: “The reports that the representative of the US Embassy took part in the counting of the signatures are groundless”. More…