Will President Use Power to Call for Early Parliamentary Elections? Commentary

The sharp drop in world oil prices in recent years has resulted in an intensifying economic crisis in oil-exporting countries, Azerbaijan included, which in turn has coincided with political change in certain countries.

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The sharp drop in world oil prices in recent years has resulted in an intensifying economic crisis in oil-exporting countries, Azerbaijan included, which in turn has coincided with political change in certain countries.

Azerbaijan made use of the tenuous situation in September of 2016 to change the constitution, which in addition to extending the presidential term from four to six years and instituting the office of Vice President (to which First Lady Mehriban Alieyeva recently acceded) gave the president the ability to call for early parliamentary elections.

When, if ever, will Ilham Aliyev make use of this privilege?

Head of opposition party ‘Musavat’ (

Az. Equality)

Arif Hajili says he does not believe that the government will take such initiative.

“The government is used to preserving its power from every point of view. There is no point in holding early elections to protect the government – the authoritarian regime is comfortable as it is…And there are no free, democratic elections to begin with. Up until 2005, elections may have been free, but then the election process was just ‘cancelled’.

Board member of the Republican Alternative Movement (ReAL) Azer Qasimli says he would appreciate the government taking the initiative to hold elections in a semi-democratic way.

“In order to address the rise of economic and social problems that have appeared in recent years, there are two methods that could be used: the first is free, democratic and transparent elections to parliament. The second is the freeing of political prisoners. The thing is, I doubt that either of these will happen. If there are such elections, they will be merely imitations of changes. The government of Azerbaijan doesn’t think there is any need for change”.

Lawyer Aslan Ismayilov says he would also react positively to such an initiative, were it to come about.

“It is not solely the duty of the president to solve the country’s problems. That’s why we need an effective parliament. Establishing a free and democratic parliament is a must”.

Ana səhifəNewsWill President Use Power to Call for Early Parliamentary Elections? Commentary