Elections: Azerbaijan holds early presidential elections | EUROtoday

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Azerbaijan holds early presidential elections

Election posters of all Azerbaijani presidential candidates.  Photo: Hannah Wagner/dpa

Election posters of all Azerbaijani presidential candidates. picture

© Hannah Wagner/dpa

Voting has begun in Azerbaijan. The authoritarian Aliyev has no actual competitors. Instead, he desires to shortly safe his energy – most likely additionally due to financial issues within the nation.

Overshadowed by criticism and repression, early presidential elections have begun in authoritarian and oil-rich Azerbaijan. It is for certain that the 62-year-old ruler Ilham Aliyev, who took over the workplace within the nation within the South Caucasus from his father in 2003, will likely be declared the winner once more after this vote. According to observers, Aliyev's six opponents usually are not actual rivals; The two largest opposition events are boycotting the election, which has been criticized as unfair.

Human rights activists additionally criticize a latest wave of arrests within the nation on the Caspian Sea, which has turn into an vital gasoline and oil provider to the EU, particularly for the reason that begin of Russia's battle of aggression in Ukraine. Azerbaijan can be internet hosting the COP29 world local weather convention this 12 months.

The greater than 6,500 polling stations in Azerbaijan open at 8 a.m. (5 a.m. CET) and are scheduled to shut at 7 p.m. (4 p.m. CET). More than six million individuals are referred to as to vote – together with residents of the battle area of Karabakh, which Azerbaijan recaptured in 2020 and 2023. According to media, Aliyev himself additionally forged his vote at a polling station in Nagorno-Karabakh's capital, which was referred to as Stepanakert by the previous Armenian residents and is now referred to as Khankendi in Azerbaijani.

Experts: Aliyev desires to shortly safe his energy

Officially, Aliyev defined that the presidential election was introduced ahead by saying that Azerbaijan's territorial integrity had now been restored and that the top of state subsequently wanted new legitimacy. However, political observers are inclined to imagine that the authoritarian president, with the Karabakh triumph behind him, now desires to shortly safe his energy earlier than dissatisfaction in society over issues similar to excessive social inequality and rampant corruption continues to develop.

Azerbaijan fully conquered Nagorno-Karabakh final fall. Although the area lies on Azerbaijani territory, till then it was predominantly inhabited by ethnic Armenians. For a long time, Karabakh was contested between the 2 neighboring ex-Soviet republics. The assaults by the Azerbaijani military brought on greater than 100,000 Karabakh Armenians to flee. Armenia accused Azerbaijan of expulsion and “ethnic cleansing.”