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Elections or Political Farce? Dissatisfaction with Azerbaijani Election Results

The Washington Post

As it was expected, the incumbent President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev will hold the post of the country's president for the fourth consecutive time.

According to the official data released by the Central Electoral Commission, 74.51% of the eligible voters participated in the presidential elections, 86% of which voted for Aliyev.

After the elections, the president has been congratulated by the leaders of Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran, Belarus and Ukraine.

However, the Azerbaijani opposition forces have already voiced election fraud, ballot stuffing, physical violence against journalists and local and international observers, duplication cases, and they do not recognize the election results. According to the opposition forces, the elections do not reflect the will of the people, violate the international obligations of Azerbaijan, contradict the Constitution of the country.

On April 14, the National Council of Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan, which boycotted the presidential elections, will hold a rally as a protest against the election results.

Recall that the oppositional ''Musavat'' party and the ''National Front'' have also boycotted the presidential elections.

However, not only the Azerbaijani opposition expressed dissatisfaction with the election results.

The world-famous ''Foreign Policy'' magazine in turn spoke about the authoritarian regime in the country and the violation of human rights. According to the magazine, the results of the election in Azerbaijan have long been predetermined, and the elections are so obvious fraud that the leading opposition forces have just boycotted it and organized a mass protest action against "political farce."

''Foreign Policy'' called the Azerbaijani authorities the most corrupt and authoritarian regime in the region. ''Unlike other countries, Azerbaijan has managed to avoid any sanctions because of Baku's energy resources, thanks to which the actions of that country remain unpunished.''

The magazine also referred to Aliyev's statement that Yerevan is an Azerbaijani territory, as well as other intimidating and threatening statements against Armenia and Artsakh, qualifying them as "a means to unite their own people".

''The Washington Post'', in its turn, touched upon Aliyev's "involvement" of popular pop stars in his political campaign. Thus, the President of Azerbaijan invited them to "Formula 1" which will be held on April 28, in order to distract public attention and to avoid the wave of dissatisfaction with the elections. According to the newspaper, Aliyev succeeds in drowning democracy in the country by investing huge funds. The newspaper noted that these funds are used not only in the country, but also in Europe, reminding about the scandalous revelations that have been called the "Azerbaijan laundry".

It should be noted that these elections were the first in Azerbaijan after the constitutional amendments according to which the presidential term became from 5 to 7 years already.

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