President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on February 5 unexpectedly issued an order to hold extraordinary presidential elections on April 11.
The head of state received the right to personally appoint early elections after amendments to the Constitution were made at a referendum on September 26, 2018. , contact.az reported.
Earlier, the authorities said that the next presidential election will be held on October 17, 2017. What caused such an unexpected decision to hold elections six months ahead of the announced deadline is not known.
According to the new Constitution, presidential term is seven years.
Meanwhile, the opposition is not happy with the authorities’ decision.
The leader of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party Ali Kerimli criticized Aliyev’s decision to hold extraordinary presidential elections in Azerbaijan and to run for presidency for the fourth time.
The leader of Equality Party, Arif Haji said Aliyev made a hasty decision, targeting to extend his power for another seven years, adding that this decision aims at limiting the time of opposition for election campaign.
According to the chairman of the National Council of Democratic Forces, Jamil Hasanli, the appointment of extraordinary elections in Azerbaijan is an attempt to retain the power in the hands of the ruling family for another seven years, because the worsening socio-economic situation in the country contributes to a steady reputation decline of the leadership.