Ilham Aliev sworn in for third term.

Ilham Aliev was sworn in for his third term as President of Azerbaijan at a simple ceremony held in the Parliament of Azerbaijan attended by Members of Parliament, State officials and others.

Earlier the result of the 9th October Presidential election was confirmed at a special session of the Constitutional Court. The decision of the Constitutional Court based on the final report of the Central Elections Commission stated that Ilham Aliyev won the presidential election held on October 9 having gained 84.54 percent (3,126,113) voters.

Farhad Abdullayev, President of the Constitutional Court read out the Constitutional Court’s decision.

Other candidates received the following number of votes:

Jamil Hasanli – 5.53 percent (204,642 votes)

Iqbal Aghazade – 2.40 percent (88,723 votes)

Gudret Hasanguliyev – 1.99 percent (73,702 votes)

Zahid Oruj – 1.46 percent (53,839 votes)

Ilyas Ismayilov – 1.07 percent (39,722 votes)

Araz Alizade – 0.87 percent (32,069 votes)

Faraj Guliyev – 0.86 percent (31,926 votes)

Hafiz Hajiyev – 0.66 percent (24,461 votes)

Sardar Mammadov – 0.61 percent (22,773 votes).

source: Caucasus Elections Watch with Trend News Agency (Baku)

On the morning of 10 October Azerbaijani politics cannot be rolled back into the bottle, to wait for the next election.

Azerbaijan’s ridiculously young, but amazingly talented, most famous photojournalist, Mehman Husseynov.

Testing the political space: Azerbaijan’s ridiculously young, but
amazingly talented, most famous photojournalist,
Mehman Husseynov.

There are now only a few days left before the Presidential election in Azerbaijan on 9 October. Over the last two weeks the “political space” in the country opened up somewhat, with plurality of views expressed on television and on the streets. The wisdom of the Azerbaijani government in keeping political feelings that it does not like bottled up, and only let it come out during narrow windows ahead of elections, is very doubtful strategically, and unacceptable for many democrats.

The result is the odd campaign that has been witnessed so far. The incumbent President Ilham Aliev is expected to win. He decided not to campaign directly, even if he is seen every day on television “looking presidential”. His party, the New Azerbaijan Party has conducted the campaign on his behalf. It was efficient, sufficiently  glitzy, but overall boring.

Of the other nine candidates only one is actually challenging the incumbent. Camil Hasanli was brought late and unexpectedly to the forefront to represent the mainstream  opposition. He has so far performed better than expected. More…

Aliev addresses issue of corruption in a speech a few days before election. “Transparency, honesty and truth must become a way of life.”

President Aliev's election campaign projects him as a visionary leader.

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…

Analysis: “The current political situation in Azerbaijan should not be interpreted simplistically.”

Dennis Sammut

Dennis Sammut

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…

In Azerbaijan, two leading candidates in the Presidential elections are not campaigning. Why?

Ilgar Mammedov being detained by police in Baku on 4 February 2013 (picture courtesy of RFE/RL)

Ilgar Mammedov being detained by police in Baku on 4 February 2013 (picture courtesy of RFE/RL)

There are several peculiar things connected with the Presidential elections in Azerbaijan on 9 October, but surely the one that is most peculiar is that two leading contenders are not campaigning at all. One does not want to, and the other cannot. More…

Ilham against all, but not all against Ilham.

The people of Azerbaijan will go to the polls on 9 October to elect a President. The incumbent, Ilham Aliev is seeking a third term after the constitution was changed earlier to enable him to do so. As many as two dozen others have been provisionally registered to contest the election.

Who are they, and why this sudden rush to unseat Aliev? The odd answer is that whilst Aliev is running against them all, not all of them are running against him. In fact most of the people who have put forward their names represent parties and organisations that over the last decade have been loyal and vocal supporters of the Aliev Government. Their candidacy is part of an elaborate exercise aimed to reassure anyone who cares that the Azerbaijani elections were free and competitive, and to dilute the impact of the few who are really out to unseat Aliev. More…