Unfair Election in Azerbaijan

The OSCE considers the recent national elections to be unfair. Even so, the overall assessment of this US ally is mixed:

Jamil Hasanli, who appeared headed to defeat in Azerbaijan’s presidential election, said a compressed campaign calendar was one obstacle in his attempt to deny Ilham Aliyev a third term

. Via Fairness an Issue


4 thoughts on “Unfair Election in Azerbaijan”

  1. Well, the US needs to ally with somebody in the region. I do wonder to what extent Aliyev personally has backing from the US, and to what extent the unfair trials have been overlooked by US officials to ease relations. In the article, European states wanting to step in was mentioned, and I wonder if the US putting this on the back burner will reflect poorly on the US to the other countries that are wanting Azerbaijan to have a fair election.

  2. The United States has allies in the region. In fact, I’m pretty sure the US is has decent to good relations with all the South Caucus and Turkey. The primary role for Azerbaijan in US foreign policy is most likely for its natural resources and more importantly, its connection with Iran. Not only is it right next to Iran, but more than 15% of Iran is Azeri, making, in my opinion, Azerbaijan a good base for Intelligence Operations into Iran. These are goals, in a broad sense, more important for the US than electoral fairness.

    That being said, the United States did openly criticize the election. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/10/215283.htm It may not be as harsh as some people wish, but that’s diplomacy.

  3. I wonder how much the international community will actually effect the election in Azerbaijan. The article mentioned that the European nations condemning it as unfair, but what effect will that really have on the outcome? It seems unlikely that Azerbaijan will hold a re-election and fix the problems with their voting system and campaigns without some harsher measures being taken. But a lot of western nations have major stakes economically and militarily in Azerbaijan, they probably can’t risk any harsher measures being taken. I don’t see any re-election happening in Azerbaijan.

  4. I honestly believe that international censure won’t make any immediate difference. Corruption and fraud have deep roots that won’t be eradicated by international pressure (unless we’re talking about more drastic types of pressure). It needs to come from inside actors rather than outside actors. It is not likely that the US or any other European country will interfere in such issue.

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