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…

YAP positioning itself ahead of next year’s presidential poll in Azerbaijan.

YAP Deputy Executive Secretary, Siyavoush Novruzov MP

With the Presidential elections set for October 2013, the ruling party of Azerbaijan, the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) is feeling out its competition.

Aydin Mirzazade, a Member of Parliament for YAP, told Gun.Az that the YAP considers “every candidate to be a rival” for next year’s elections. The YAP MP assured the press that the ruling party will take steps to ensure all candidates can participate and campaign in the election. Commenting on incumbent President, and YAP’s unofficially confirmed presidential candidate, Ilham Aliyev’s democratic record, Mirzazade noted that with Aliyev’s candidacy, Azerbaijan will continue on a democratic path of economic growth and stability for the next five years. In conclusion he said that YAP does not consider itself weaker or comparable to any other party.

Ramping up the rhetoric, Deputy Executive Secretary for the YAP, MP Syavush Novruzov, declared that the ruling party considers the “unification of [the Azerbaijani] opposition in one team as impossible.” More…

Ilham Aliev to be YAPs candidate in the 2013 elections.

The ruling party of Azerbaijan, the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), has announced that Ilham Aliyev, incumbent president and Chairman of the YAP will be the party’s candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for October 2013. The candidacy was announced last week by deputy party chairman, Ali Ahmadov. Ahmadov stated that the official announcement will be made at a party convention to be held before the elections. More…