Azerbaijan’s early parliamentary elections: opposition parties announce candidates

Elections in Azerbaijan. Photo: Andy.LIU/shutterstock

Azerbaijan is preparing for early parliamentary elections scheduled for September 1, 2024. Major political parties, including the opposition parties Musavat Party and the Republican Alternative (REAL) Party, have begun nominating their candidates, setting the stage for a significant electoral contest.

On July 8, the Musavat Party Council announced its candidates for 27 constituencies. Nominees include Gulaga Aslanli, the head of the party apparatus, and Nushaba Sadikhli, the former speaker of the Majlis. The party continues to discuss nominations for additional constituencies, with decisions expected in the coming days.

The REAL Party has also announced its candidates for 13 constituencies. Their list features central figures such as party leader Ilgar Mammadov, Political Committee member Natig Jafarli, former Milli Majlis deputy Erkin Gadirli, and lawyer Rasul Jafarov.

To register as candidates with the Central Election Commission, nominees must gather 400 voter signatures from their respective electoral districts.

The upcoming elections will fill all 125 seats in the Milli Majlis. This follows a parliamentary request for dissolution and early elections on June 21, which President Ilham Aliyev approved on June 28 by signing an order to hold elections on September 1.

The Musavat Party’s decision to participate in the elections has created internal debate. Tofig Yagublu, a Musavat Party and the National Council’s Coordination Center member, has expressed disapproval. Yagublu, currently imprisoned on charges of fraud and document forgery since December 2024, expressed his views through a Facebook post shared by his daughter, Nigar Hazi. He criticized the party’s decision to participate in the elections, citing concerns about political repression and limitations on fundamental freedoms.

Yagublu’s imprisonment has been a point of contention, with supporters arguing that the charges are politically motivated. He has faced multiple imprisonments related to his political activities, and his current sentence could extend up to 10 years.

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