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

13 March 2018, 10:48

In Azerbaijan, boycott of election by opposition deprives political event of intrigue

In Azerbaijan, there is no any political intrigue in the upcoming presidential election, and they virtually have no alternatives, but one candidate only, Anar Mamedli, the head of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS), told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

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."

According to Anar Mamedli, given the boycott of the presidential election announced by the leading opposition forces, which for many years have been consistent critics of the regime, incumbent President Ilham Aliev has no real rivals.

Anar Mamedli believes that the appointment of the extraordinary presidential election put the opposition in time trouble, and oppositionists "had nothing else to do" but to boycott the election.

Bakhtiyar Gadjiev, the head of the Public Policy Institute, shares the opinion voiced by Anar Mamedli.

"If the election were held as originally scheduled, that is, in October, the opposition would have had the opportunity to prepare in any way by mobilizing its own, albeit meagre resources. Meanwhile, it is almost impossible to get prepared for the election within two months only," Bakhtiyar Gadjiev told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Bakhtiyar Gadjiev suggests that the opposition's refusal to participate in the election will affect the perception of the political event. "Of course, the international community will recognize and congratulate Ilham Aliev on his election for the fourth term. However, the election without the participation of the main opposition forces will not be considered as completely legitimate and the international community will all the time remind the authorities about that," Bakhtiyar Gadjiev noted.

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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