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"Everybody knows who will win": Presidential Election in Azerbaijan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
2013 (English)In: Baltic Worlds, ISSN 2000-2955Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

On October 9 presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan. As a result of the criticized 2009 amendment to the constitution the two-term limit for the presidency was removedand the incumbent, President Ilham Aliyev, could stand as candidate fora third time. Nobody was surprised when he won again. To the contrary it seemed the well-documented ‘political apathy’ of the Azerbaijani people had spread outside the country as well as.All through the election period foreign and national analysts alike were very careful to point out that everybody already knew who would win. This caution is of course a natural reactiontothe electoral authoritarianism that characterizes the Azerbaijani regime. Under electoral authoritarianism the state provides an ”illusion of multi-party democracy at the local and national levels while effectively stripping elections of efficacy. The result known in advance, elections can be held frequently”. Nevertheless,such an approach to the election is not only depressing; it also tends to relegate the efforts of the often very harshly critiqued democratic opposition in Azerbaijan. This time a coalition, the National Council for Democratic Forces (Milli Şura), managed to nominate one mutual candidate to represent the ‘oppositionists’, something that is basically unprecedented in this context. Sure, their efforts could be seen as too little too late and IlhamAliyev still won a landslide victory getting 85% of the votes. Nevertheless, short of a color revolution, the determination of the opposition forces did contribute to making this election as exciting as it getsunder electoral authoritarianism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Södertörns Högskola, Centrum för Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning , 2013.
Keyword [en]
Azerbaijan, elections, democracy, electoral authoritarianism, opposition
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211989OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-211989DiVA: diva2:675557
Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-12-04 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Bedford, Sofie
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