Last week, Azerbaijanis went to the polls to re-elect Ilham Aliyev to a third five-year term, cementing his grip on the countries government, petroleum industry and media.
(Azerbaijan leader Ilham Aliyev votes in the 2013 Presidential Election AFP/Getty)
Here’s how the Azerbaijan elections played out in the international media in the run up to and after the “election.”
CARNEGIE-Thomas de Waal, “What lies ahead for Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan is not a democracy, despite holding elections”… Amnesty International, “Azerbaijan in downward spiral of oppression ahead of presidential elections – Harassment, intimidation, ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests, fabricated charges and unfair trials are all part of the arsenal the Azerbaijani authorities are employing in a downward spiral of oppression in the run up to the 9 October 2013 presidential elections”… Foreign Policy, “So What About the Other 364 Days a Year? – it’s time for Washington to cut its assistance…the United States has squandered $55 million in democracy and governance programs in Azerbaijan with little to show for it”… AP, “Azerbaijan Announces Election Winner-Before Vote – Something funny happened the day before Azerbaijan’s presidential election: The election commission announced the winner”… Washington Post, “Oops: Azerbaijan Released Election Results Before Voting Even Started – Azerbaijan’s big presidential election, held on Wednesday, was anticipated to be neither free nor fair”… BBC, “Azerbaijan election: the pre-determined president – Azerbaijan elects a president on Wednesday in what human rights organisations say is a stifling atmosphere of intimidation”… The Independent, “Azerbaijan releases election results… before the polls even open – Critics have long viewed Azerbaijan’s elections as predetermined, but the country appears to have gone a step further this year by publishing results before the polls have even opened”… UPI, “U.S.: Azerbaijan elections were not ‘free and fair’ – It is with regret that we conclude this election fell short of international standards”… SLATE, “Azerbaijan Accidentally Releases Election Results Before Vote … Then President Does Even Better – Perhaps the Azeri government’s pre-cogs can give some pointers to the Turkish police, who are now apparently authorized to arrest protesters before they start protesting”… Xindex, “Locking up free expression: Azerbaijan silences critical voices – Intimidation, violence and media clampdown – free expression in Azerbaijan is under siege”… U.S. Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), "Senator Cardin Statement on Presidential Election in Azerbaijan – It’s disappointing to see Azerbaijan waste another opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to pursuing democratic progress"… New York Times, “Observers Differ on Fairness of Election in Azerbaijan – Former Representative Michael E. McMahon, a Democrat from Staten Island, called the vote "honest, fair and really efficient”… AP, “Thousands Protest Elections in Azerbaijan – The protesters in Baku are demanding that the election be nullified and that Aliyev resign”… The Guardian, “Azerbaijan demonstrators beaten and detained after election protest – About 4,000 protest against disputed results of presidential election that gave Ilham Aliyev third consecutive term”… RFE/RL, “OSCE Says Azerbaijan Election ‘Seriously Flawed’ – The OSCE monitors told a news conference in Baku on October 10 that the poll was marred by a "restrictive media environment” and allegations of intimidation of candidates and voters.