THE 2005 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN AZERBAIJAN: INFLUENCING FACTORS
Dr. Elkhan NURIEV
Elkhan Nuriev, Senior researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Berlin, FRG)
Two years after he was elected head of state, Ilkham Aliev was confronted with the threat of a possible political crisis in Azerbaijan. On 6 November, 2005, the country went to the polls to elect the parliament. According to the opposition leaders, the process abounded in serious violations and massive falsifications of the election results. The ruling elite, however, insists that the country had all the conditions for a fair, transparent, and democratic election campaign. From the very beginning, international organizations spared no effort to make the elections a fair process. At the very beginning of the election campaign, the United States, the key actor in the region, sent contradictory signals about its possible response if falsifications were revealed and recognized.
It should be said that the current political processes in the republic began in 2003, after the death of President Heydar Aliev, who kept the country under strict control. After Ilkham Aliev, his son, was elected president of the country, he found himself completely dependent on the “old guard.” Decentralization of the state’s political structure began; the political situation became very……………….