HAKİMİYYƏTİN MƏNİMSƏNİLMƏSİ XALQA QARŞI ƏN AĞIR CİNAYƏTDİR. AR-nın Konstitusiyası m. 6
The people of Azerbaijan will go to the polls on 9 October to elect their president. I am running in this election with the paramount aim of ending 20 years of the Aliyev dynasty’s misrule of my country, and restoring Azerbaijani democracy.
Since the incumbent, Ilham Aliyev, inherited power from his late father 10 years ago, Azerbaijan has become mired in rampant corruption, and theruling regime has grown ever more authoritarian and ruthless. Most importantly, the ongoing conflict with Armenia has still not been resolved and Azerbaijani territories remain under occupation.
It is time to say enough. The Azerbaijani people deserve better. Our democratic movement is now united in an unprecedented alliance. The National Council of Democratic Forces has elected me as its presidential candidate. It includes opposition parties, civil society campaigners, members of the intelligentsia and youth activists. We have put forward a comprehensive and credible programme of political, constitutional and economic reform.
If elected, I have undertaken to serve for a limited, two-year term only, to oversee a transition to democracy and the establishment of the rule of law. Tackling corruption, ending oligarchic control of the national economy, releasing political prisoners, limiting presidential powers, strengthening parliament, democratising and opening up the peace process with Armenia are some of the key measures we are proposing. Restoring social justice and providing equality of opportunity for all are our top priorities.
Aliyev has never won a free and fair election and knows he cannot win this one. Elections and referendums in Azerbaijan have been marked by widespread electoral fraud and vote-rigging. Having taken control of all electoral commissions in the country, the Aliyev regime has now intensified its ongoing crackdown against independent media, th
The oil boom of the past few years has made the Aliyev family and its cronies extremely wealthy and the regime will do its utmost to keep power. Aliyev is running for an unprecedented third term, following the disputed 2009 referendum which removed presidential term limits. I believe this contravenes the Azerbaijani constitution and the European convention on human rights. I have launched a legal challenge and demanded a judicial review. Without a clear, unbiased and unequivocal constitutional court ruling on this matter, Aliyev’s third-term presidency is not legitimate.e opposition and civil society, prompting condemnation and statements of concern from international human rights organisations and the EU. Recent protests in Azerbaijan’s impoverished regions were met with brutal force.
I recognise that Azerbaijani democrats face a formidable challenge in this election. But it is a challenge we must meet. Because while the elites prospered, the majority of people benefitted little from the oil boom. The problem of the disputed Karabakh region remains unresolved and hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis are unable to return to their homes. Healthcare and education standards have plummeted. Widespread corruption and political cronyism stifle the economy, which has grown totally dependent on oil and gas exports. The very fabric of Azerbaijani society and state is being eroded, while billions of dollars in oil revenues are wasted and lost in mismanagement, but mostly stolen by the Aliyev clan. Despite my official protests, Ilham Aliyev has still not submitted financial reports on relevant family members, as required by the Azerbaijani electoral code.
The Aliyev regime has gone to great lengths to improve its international image in recent years. Yet the reality I describe above is very different from the polished propaganda spouted by Aliyev’s PR consultants. The international community has an ethical responsibility to hold the regime to its international commitments. But it is also in the interest of Azerbaijan’s partners that the country is stable and develops in a democratic and progressive direction. This election provides an opportunity for a fresh international engagement in Azerbaijan and a robust election observation process.
Throughout my campaign I have witnessed a growing hunger for change in Azerbaijan. Voters across the country, young and old, expressed their hope for a better, freer future. I believe that my candidacy, backed by a united and organised pro-democracy movement, represents the best chance for a peaceful transition from oligarchic autocracy to progressive democracy.