Azerbaijani CEC refuses to register Ilgar Mammedov as Presidential Candidate

ilgar mammedov 2The 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…

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…