Aliyev Outpaces Events

The President's decision was unexpected for the society, but not for the authorities as a whole. The Central Election Commission made an official decision to purchase ballot boxes and other ammunition for elections a week ago - on January 29.

The appointment of early elections can be dictated mainly by the fact that for the first time in the entire period of Ilham Aliyev's rule (since 2003), elections are held in an economic and, indeed, systemic crisis in general, which creates certain risks for the government that seeks to hold elections without special excesses and generation of additional problems.

Extraordinary elections leave little time for maneuver, or almost none for the classical opposition, for the internal authorities, for the West, which led in recent years to a number of instruments of pressure on the regime - Laundromat (money laundering), the Volonte case (bribery of Western politicians), blocking the flow of dirty money and stuff.

Advantages that the president receives:

1. The discontent of a part of the electorate does not have the time and chance to grow into a certain resistance movement and in general the electorate will be amorphous to what is happening.

2. Opposition in this situation has very little time to consolidate and swing the situation. It will be almost unable to give a decisive battle to Aliyev. And maybe it will even decide to boycott the elections, which is quite satisfactory to Aliyev and creates a full atmosphere of no alternative.

3. The internal contradictions that have been heated after the nomination of the First Lady to the newly established post of First Vice President will not have time to develop and will be successfully neutralized.

4. Western institutions will not have time to form a single and effective approach to elections, their evaluation and control either.

In fact, Aliyev receives favorable conditions for re-election, this time for a seven-year term, which he introduced as a result of the referendum in autumn 2016.

We should also note the important Karabakh factor, which since the collapse of the USSR has constantly influenced the domestic political life of the country and in particular, has become a catalyst for instability. The holding of the elections following the presidential elections in Armenia in March will allow continuation of the negotiation process, which was activated by international mediators in 2017 and has the prospect of an intermediate settlement in the coming years.

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