Roundtable: Azerbaijan’s Mysterious Snap Elections
- Date: –12:00
- Location: Institutet för Rysslands- och Eurasienstudier (IRES) Gamla torget 6, 4 vån, rum 4219 B
- Lecturer: Dr. Sofie Bedford is a researcher at IRES and presently a senior research fellow at the Department of Political Science at Vienna University. A long time observer of political developments in the Azerbaijani context her current research focuses on nationalization and de-securitization of Islam in Azerbaijan. Dr. Rail Safiyev works at the Comparative Politics Department University of Bergen (Norway). His research centers on corruption, authoritarian governments and culture of politics. Dr. Ceyhun Mahmudlu is visiting professor at Hochschule Koblenz, Germany. His teaching and research specialization comprises a variety of topics such as peace and conflict resolution, international organizations, energy policy and security, nationality and ethnicities and research methods in social sciences. The seminar will be moderated by independent journalist Torgny Hinnemo.
- Organiser: Institutet för Rysslands- och Eurasienstudier (IRES)
- Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
- Phone: 018 471 1630
with Dr. Sofie Bedford (IRES), Dr. Rail Safiyev (Comparative Politics Department University of Bergen) and Dr. Ceyhun Mahmudlu (Department of International Relations of Baku Engineering University)
Presidential elections will be held in Azerbaijan on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 – more than six months earlier than stipulated by election law. On the one hand this was no surprise. Snap elections were predicted after President Aliyev secured the right to decree early elections in September 2016, as the result of a controversial constitutional referendum. On the other it appears nobody expected the presidential decree on 5 February, setting the date for the election as early as April, at this point in time. This change of date will not in any way alter the election’s outcome – there is no doubt the incumbent will yet again win, but it set in motion a wide range of speculations about the reasons for the need to urgently hold this election. No official explanation was given, but rumors suggest the expected release of a possible oppositional presidential candidate from prison, upcoming devaluation, secret unpopular peace agreements, or even power struggles within the presidential family as the reason for the snap elections. True or not they provide a good point of departure for a discussion not only about the election and its impact, but also about issues at stake in today’s Azerbaijan.