Election campaign kicks off
On 19 March, the presidential election campaign officially began in Azerbaijan.
The snap election is scheduled to take place 11 April, and according to Azerbaijani law, candidates can begin to campaign 23 days in advance. All campaigning is required to end at 10:00am on 10 April, 24 hours before polling stations open.
Azerbaijan’s public TV station, ITV, will offer each candidate some free airtime, and additional airtime can be bought for between 20-50 manats ($12-$30) per second. Privately-owned Khazar TV will offer primetime slots for six thousand manats per minute, or 100 manats ($60) per second.
Eight candidates have been registered by the Central Election Committee, in alphabetical order:
- President Ilham Aliyev (New Azerbaijan Party)
- Araz Alizadeh (Social Democrat Party)
- Faraj Guliyev (National Revival Movement Party)
- Hafiz Hajiyev (Modern Musavat Party)
- Gudrat Hasanguliyev (United People’s Front of Azerbaijan Party)
- Sardar Jalal oghlu Mammadov (Democrat Party)
- Razi Nurullayev (Azerbaijan Democratic Republic Initiative Group)
- Zahid Oruj (independent)
In February, Ilham Aliyev issued an order unexpectedly moving the elections up six months from October to April. The move has been criticized as an attempt to prevent the opposition from mounting a strong campaign. The main opposition parties in Azerbaijan have called for a boycott of the election.
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