Azeri President Ilham Aliyev today signed a presidential decree calling for snap elections to be held on February 7th, 2024. Originally, the next election was scheduled for 2025.
Aliyev is expected to once again win the election. The legitimacy of Azerbaijan’s elections has repeatedly been called into question, as opposition candidates and voters continually face intimidation by state authorities, and media coverage is extremely one sided. The OSCE has stated their elections are “not free and fair”, citing these reasons.
In 2018, Aliyev won with a reported 86% of the vote, while the runner-up garnered a mere 3.12%. In 2013, Azerbaijan’s electoral commission released election results declaring Aliyev the winner, one day before voting had even started. They later recalled the results as a mistake, stating they were from the 2008 election. This, too, has been called into question as the names of candidates matched 2013, and the numbers differed from 2008.
There is speculation as to the reasons why Aliyev has called an early election, however there has been no official stated reason.