Azerbaijan votes but only one victor expected in country ruled by Aliyev clan for 26 years

Parliamentary elections will be held in Azerbaijan today. Called ten months early, these elections follow the Azerbaijani parliament’s vote to

azerbaijan election

Photo: Yegor Aeleyv/TASS

Parliamentary elections will be held in Azerbaijan today.

Called ten months early, these elections follow the Azerbaijani parliament’s vote to dissolve itself in December. Frustrated by the slow implementation of economic reforms, the dominant New Azerbaijan Party believes electing new politicians to the parliament will help bring about change.

Azerbaijan’s GDP grew from $6 billion in 2001 to $66 billion in 2014. However, the country’s economically vital oil reserves are likely to be gone by 2042, and oil prices are already dropping. Believing Azerbaijani President Illham Aliyev directed the oil wealth towards the oligarchs to ensure their loyalty, many are now calling for bringing in a new generation of politicians who are too young to have Soviet connections but are sufficiently educated to deliver much-needed economic reforms.

Rather than accuse the legislature of slow-walking reforms, some have blamed the executive, which maintains most governing power. However, Aliyev is a vocal supporter of economic change. Last October, he called for the retirement of those eligible for the pension and appointed economist Ali Asadov as prime minister.

Despite the push by politicians for economic reform, expect change to progress slowly in Azerbaijan.

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