Elections in Azerbaijan
The advance parliamentary elections took place not only in Turkey in November 2015, but also in Azerbaijan. Although the official Baku considers Turkey as its partner, the Azerbaijani elections were completely different from the political event in Turkey.
The parliament is unicameral in Azerbaijan. It is called Milli Majlis and has 125 deputies. The country has a majority election system. This year 767 people were competing to become deputies. Most of the candidates represent political parties (there are 15 of them) and one electoral block which consists of 7 parties. Besides this, there were quite a lot of self-nominated candidates. Yet, the opposition decided to ignore the current political campaign under the pretext that the leading authoritarian regime contradicts the underlying principles of elections all together. “What for shall we take part in elections if everything has already been decided for us?” – opponents of Ilkham Aliyev wonder. However, the Central Electoral Committee seems to have a different opinion with regard to this, as elections in all the single-seat electoral districts have been recognized valid.
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) had a different view on the elections in Azerbaijan. They refused to send their observers to the elections. The official Baku asked OSCE to send a less number of observers. This is why the European representatives decided to boycott the Azerbaijani elections. Despite this, the elections were observed by 30 representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Commonwealth of Independent States was represented by 150 specialists. In addition to this, there were observers from organisations such as GUAM and TURKPA (Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries). Overall, the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan were recognized valid.
The voting turnout was not very high – 55,7%. Yet, this is 6% more than at the elections five years ago. President Aliyev’s Yeni party has won a clear victory and will grip on power in Milli Majlis.
Thanks to petro-dollars and gas reserves, Ilkham Aliyev manages to keep a stable situation in the country. Fighting the radicals covering under Islamic slogans is not an issue at the moment. However, Azerbaijni businessmen working in Russia might be quite a challenge for the head of the country. They are not happy with the political line of the president and are preparing to topple Aliyev. These rumours circulated in 2013. Yet, it is hardly possible to validate this information as the Azerbaijani opposition does not seem to change in any aspect, including financial.