Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 April

By holding snap presidential elections Azerbaijan’s Aliyev solves his reproduction issue – orientalist

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 8, ARMENPRESS. By holding snap presidential elections Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev solves his reproduction issue, orientalist Vardan Voskanyan  - head of the YSU Department on Iranian Studies, told a press conference in Armenpress.

According to him, the number one factor in this process is to deprive the opposition from the consolidation process.

“A little time was left for the consolidation which needs to be somehow assessed as effective since different opposition forces have already made statements that they will not take part in the elections”, Vardan Voskanyan said.

He said the political opposition in Azerbaijan is quite divided, and in fact, doesn’t represent a serious power that would challenge the ruling force. This could happen through a wide coalition, but it seems this short period didn’t enable the forces to come to an agreement.

The next hindering factor, according to Voskanyan, could be the religious opposition. It’s obvious that Ilham Aliyev, by removing the political opposition from the political arena, left a free space there, a vacuum which was filled by the religious opposition.

“And now the religious opposition is the most powerful opposition in Azerbaijan. In other words, they are numerous Shiite groups which are sponsored by Iran at least at moral, propaganda level, but for these groups as well the time for consolidation is also short”, Vardan Voskanyan said.

By holding snap elections Aliyev solves a problem of time in order to avoid side-effects. Predicting that during the elections the international community’s attention will focus on Azerbaijan, the election date by Aliyev’s decision coincided with that of the Russian presidential elections. It’s obvious that the international community will be focused on the upcoming Russian presidential elections.

“Perhaps, there is also one more factor for making such a decision. Perhaps they analyzed and found out that holding elections at the moment is much more appropriate for them. Armenia transitions to a new system of governance, thus, Aliyev as well tries to complete the political process inside as soon as possible”, Vardan Voskanyan said.

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