Election campaing materials in Baku streets. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot.

13 March 2018, 03:35

Political analysts: Azerbaijani authorities want to distract citizens' attention from election

In Azerbaijan, the authorities want to hold a "calm election campaign" to avoid any public debate about the rescheduling of the election. This opinion was voiced by political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in Azerbaijan, the presidential election was scheduled for October 17, 2018. However, on February 5, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev appointed early elections on April 11, without presenting any reasons for the move. The opposition criticized this decision, explaining it by authorities' desire "to ease falsifications and not to allow the opposition to get properly prepared."

There is no atmosphere of the election in the country, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Anar Mamedli, the head of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS).

"Nothing in the country tells people about the election. Only polling stations have got posters informing the people that the early presidential election will take place on April 1. The TV Channels also report no information about the election, with the exception of videos lasting half a minute," Anar Mamedli told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"In general, there are no special problems for the authorities. Ilham Aliev is far ahead all the presidential candidates. I'd like to note something different. It seems to me that the authorities want to conduct a 'calm campaign' to avoid public discussions about the reasons for the early election just six months before it was supposed to take place," Anar Mamedli said.

In recent years, the social and political life of Azerbaijan has begun to stagnate, believes Bashir Suleimanly, the head of the Institute of Civil Initiatives.

"The authorities will benefit from that, since people are busy with their everyday problems and they are not interested in politics too much. An active election campaign and stormy public debates would bring society out of hibernation. Although Ilham Aliev does not face any real rivals at the election, but later, it will be much more difficult to return the society awakened from hibernation to its former stagnant state. Therefore, the authorities make all efforts to ensure that the election campaign passes unnoticed for most of the people," Bashir Suleimanly told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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