The General Elections in Azerbaijan increase the power of Ilham Aliyev.

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Corinne Deloy,  

Fondation Robert Schuman,  

Helen Levy

-

8 November 2010
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Deloy Corinne

Corinne Deloy

Author of the European Elections Monitor (EEM) for the Robert Schuman Foundation and project manager at the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).

Robert Schuman Fondation

Fondation Robert Schuman

Levy Helen

Helen Levy

The New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) led by President of the Republic Ilham Aliyev strengthened its power over the country during the general elections on 7th November in Azerbaijan. According to results that are still incomplete and as expected the party easily dominated the election winning over 70 seats in Parliament –– which means a better result than the one achieved during the previous elections on 6th November 2005 (63). The oldest opposition party Musavat led by Isa Gambar will not have any seats in the next Milli Majlis, the only Chamber in Parliament.

Turnout was much higher than in the previous election in 2005 (+9.94 points) and lies at 50.14%. We should note that 25, 442 people voted on line.

"I am sure of our success. We are extremely satisfied with our result," declared Ali Ahmedov, leader of the YAP parliamentary group when the first results were announced. He denied all accusations of infringement saying that "the general elections were free and fair."

"Unfortunately this election looks like mass fraud," stressed Ali Karimli, leader of the People's Front (AXCP) that was running in coalition with Musavat. "In some constituencies some people voted several times," declared the opposition saying that "each non-democratic election damages Azerbaijan's international image." His political ally Isa Gambar denounced the "great number of infringements" and said that he "did not consider these elections, which were similar to those that took place in the Soviet era, as democratic."

"We acknowledge that there were a certain number of infringements but we also know that infringements have also taken place in developed democratic countries," answered Husein Pashaïev, the spokesperson for the New Azerbaijan Party.

Azerbaijan that is a rich source of natural gas and oil (this represents 50% of the State's budget and 70% of exports) has been experiencing a full economic boom for the last few years. The GDP growth rate reached 25% in 2007 and still lay at 9.3% last year. As a result the western countries whose oil companies are present in the country are divided over their criticism of the regime and the petro-strategic interests. In addition to this Azerbaijan is a transit route for American troops and supplies to Afghanistan.

Human Rights defence organisations accuse the Azeri authorities of quashing freedom and regularly ask the western countries not to close their eyes on these breaches of democracy. During the previous elections on 6th November 2005 the opposition forces and international observers responsible for monitoring the election denounced the lack of transparency and the numerous infringements that took place. The most recent presidential election on 15th October 2008 in which the opposition forces refused to take part were also marred by irregularities.

lham Aliyev succeeded his father in 2003 – the latter had led the country almost continuously since 1969. Re-elected as Head of State on 15th October 2008 with 88.67% of the vote Ilham Aliyev achieved by referendum the lifting of the restriction whereby someone can only undertake two consecutive presidential mandates. After an easy victory by his party in the general elections no one doubts that he is now planning (confidently) to stand in the next presidential election due to take the autumn of 2013.

http://www.infocenter.gov.az/v3/index.php http://www.infocenter.gov.az/v3/sesverme_mm.php http://www.osce.org/item/47507.html

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