Ilham Aliyev set for victory in Azerbaijan election
Ilham Aliyev, who has led for over two decades, won Azerbaijan's presidential elections by a substantial margin.
According to the official announcement regarding election outcomes, Aliyev secured 92% of votes, granting him a fifth term as president. The country's Central Election Commission, noting a 67.7% voter turnout, stated, "The Azerbaijani people have elected Ilham Aliyev as their president," affirming the 62-year-old's victory.
Azerbaijan's major opposition factions, the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and the Musavat Party, opted out of the election following Aliyev's unexpected declaration for an early vote in December. Ali Kerimli, head of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, labeled the elections a "circus" and critiqued the political system as a mere imitation of democracy, insisting on the need for "free, fair, and democratic" elections.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was among the first to congratulate Aliyev on his win. A statement from the Presidency revealed that Erdoğan had phoned Aliyev to congratulate him on his electoral success.
Ilham Aliyev, about to start his fifth term, is the progeny of Haydar Aliyev, who played a pivotal role in Azerbaijan's politics starting from the Soviet Union era. Ilham was appointed Prime Minister in April 2003 due to his father's deteriorating health and took over the presidency after winning the presidential elections on October 31, following his father. Haydar Aliyev passed away on December 12, 2003.
Ilham Aliyev embarked on his fourth seven-year term after the 2018 elections. In January, he remarked to the Azerbaijani media that moving the elections, initially scheduled for 2025, to an earlier date was to mark the commencement of a new era after the victory in Karabakh, emphasizing Azerbaijan's complete sovereignty as it entered the new year.
In 2020, Azerbaijan recaptured extensive areas of Karabakh during the 44-day Second Karabakh War with Armenia, which concluded with a ceasefire mediated by Russia. In September 2023, Azerbaijan's 24-hour "anti-terrorist operation" led to the surrender of separatist Armenian forces in the region.