President Ilham Aliyev will rule Azerbaijan next seven years, he won the presidential race, which was boycotted by the opposition, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Ilham Aliyev victory was widely seen as a foregone conclusion with the Caspian state’s downtrodden opposition unable to mount a serious challenge to his authoritarian rule. Despite the controversial elections, the victory is legal, so, Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders who congratulated Mr Aliyev on his convincing victory.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first foreign leader to congratulate Aliyev on his electoral win, the Azerbaijani presidency said in a statement.
According to the official statement, turnout was 74.5 percent, while the main opposition parties in the tightly controlled Caucasus nation boycotted the vote, calling the elections a sham and accusing the authorities of preparing to rig the vote. Aliyev’s recent decision to appoint his wife vice president was criticized heavily, Azerbaijan’s embattled opposition angrily criticised Aliyeva’s elevation as undemocratic and called it a ploy to cement the Aliyev family’s dynastic rule.
“The move throws Azerbaijan back to medieval, feudal times,”
opposition leader Isa Gambar of the Musavat party told.
Putin, Erdogan congratulated Aliyev
Claiming victory in the election, Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation, thanking Azerbaijanis for “support and trust.” His father, Heydar Aliyev, ruled the country over decades, too. A former KGB officer and communist-era leader, Aliyev senior had ruled Azerbaijan with an iron fist since 1993. In many former USSR republics in Central Asia, such pattern of the ruling is still keeping. It looks the monarchy, say the independent political experts.
Over phone call, Vladimir Putin wished his Azerbaijan counterpart a success in his presidency aimed at ensuring the welfare of the people and the country’s development. Russia and Azerbaijan are keeping the good relations, helping each other to develop the economy. Mr Putin expressed his confidence that the relations between Russia and Azerbaijan will continue to develop successfully in all spheres.
President Aliyev, in turn, thanked his Russian counterpart for his attention and congratulations. During the phone conversation, the national leaders exchanged views on the prospects of Azerbaijan-Russia ties based on strategic partnership.