Problems loom for Azerbaijan following elections

Azerbaijan’s leader Ilham Aliyev looks set to be re-elected in upcoming polls, but challenges lie ahead for his country in the future.

Problems loom for Azerbaijan following elections

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ilham Aliyev looks set to win his third five-year term in office in upcoming elections in Azerbaijan. This will continue the legacy of his father Heyder Aliyev, who dominated the nation’s politics since 1969.

As well as ongoing disputes with Armenia, the recent oil boom in the country has increased the gap between the rich and the poor. Also his crackdown on the opposition is going largely ignored.

Despite winning the last election in 2008 with 90% of the votes, elections were followed by protests and riots by opposition groups who feel marginalized under his governance. Protests are again expected after the next election. This time the opposition has united behind Jamil Hasanly, but he poses no threat to his rival.

Economic improvements seem to be the factor keeping Aliyev in power. In 2003 GDP was only $850, but today it has risen to $7,850. However, economic progress is slowing. Between 2003 and 2007 the economy grew 21% per year, but this year it has only grown 5.2%

There is anxiety over Azerbaijan’s oil reserves running dry and even a renewed war with Armenia. The last war in 1990 claimed 10,000 lives and devastated the economy. On the other hand, Elnur Aslanov, head of the political analysis and information department in the presidential administration, said ‘we won't run out of oil in a day and there are also prospects for gas production as well as other projects’. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ekim 2013, 18:07