Ilham Aliyev has won reelection for a third term. As he begins his eleventh year as president of Azerbaijan, the huge shadow of his father and predecessor inevitably begins to recede and this is the moment for him to set a new political agenda for the country—if he wants too.
It has been two decades since post-Soviet states gained independence, but democracy fails to emerge and shake autocratic regimes, although they have the educated and intellectual elites it takes to develop it.
The presidential election results in Azerbaijan should be no surprise. However, they were a real test for the regime as it was the first time it was confronted with a serious opposition. But most importantly these elections also became a test for the Azerbaijani opposition itself.
Everyone actually knows the result of Azerbaijan’s presidential election—that President Ilham Aliyev will be elected for a third term. But today’s vote is most important as a test on the state of the country’s opposition.
Azerbaijan’s opposition has united around a set of democratic ideals and is making the most of the limited opportunities for campaigning. Will they be able to overcome the apathy of the voters who have never seen a fair election?
A special arrangement may be devised for the Eastern Partnership countries so that they can associate with both Russia and the EU. It would effectively serve to form a loose economic alliance between the EU and the Eurasian Union tied together by the common denominator: the Eastern Partnership nations.
The October elections in Azerbaijan and Georgia seem to mean different things for those two countries. In Azerbaijan, there is a continuity of Aliev rule that is moving toward sultanism. In Georgia, one could observe the end of one epoch and the beginning of another.
The administration of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan embraced a Russian takeover of the nation’s economy that left political control in Armenian hands. As Sargsyan began to have second thoughts about this bargain, he found himself short of options.