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Aliyev was presented as the winner of the elections in Azerbaijan

Aliyev was presented as the winner of the elections in Azerbaijan

In authoritarian Azerbaijan, incumbent President Ilham Aliyev was presented, as expected, as the clear winner of the snap presidential elections. Azerbaijani state media published alleged results of election day polls after the closure of more than 6,500 polling stations in the country, according to which Aliyev received between 92.4 and 93.9 percent of the votes. Yesterday's vote guarantees Aliyev seven more years at the helm of the oil-rich South Caucasus Republic located on the Caspian Sea. However, according to critical observers, the vote was neither free nor fair due to severe repression.

APA/AFP/Tofik Babayev

Not only were the six opposition candidates seen as completely hopeless from the start, but they openly supported Aliyev. The two main opposition parties boycotted the elections in protest. Human rights activists have also criticized the fact that several independent journalists and a well-known opposition politician have been arrested in recent months.

Surprisingly, Aliyev brought forward the date of the elections, which were actually only scheduled to take place in 2025. He officially justified the move by saying that the president needed new legitimacy after occupying the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone last fall. However, political observers tend to assume that the authoritarian president, with the Nagorno-Karabakh victory behind him, now wants to quickly secure his power before discontent grows in society due to problems such as high social inequality and rampant corruption.

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