Azerbaijan’s opposition to hold demonstrations days after election

Azerbaijan’s opposition to hold demonstrations days after election

Opposition supporters are expected to take to protest the victory of incumbent President Ilham Aliyev in Thursday’s election.

we-want-democracy

Photo: Reuters

Today, opposition supporters are expected to take to the streets of Baku to protest the victory of incumbent President Ilham Aliyev in Thursday’s election.

Though the presidential election was supposed to take place on October 17, Aliyev, who will now serve his fourth term as president, instead called a snap election, which was boycotted by key opposition parties that claimed the poll would be rigged.

Over Aliyev’s 15-year rule, crackdowns on civil and political freedoms have escalated as many journalists, opposition figures and activists have been harassed or incarcerated. Suppressions have risen in line with protests related to the country’s deteriorating economy, which has taken a hit due to a loss of oil revenues, on which Azerbaijan is dependent for economic solvency.

Given the unwillingness of Western countries to reprimand or sanction Baku’s authoritarian government, it is unlikely that opposition protests will lead to any substantial anti-corruption, electoral or civil reforms. Instead, expect them to be met with police resistance as Aliyev looks to cement a strong mandate going into his fourth term.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.