Reuters: Ilham Aliyev may have serious problems during his third term
18:33 05/10/2013 » SOCIETY
While luxury cars cruise down past five-star hotels and exclusive
boutiques in the capital of Azerbaijan, residents of cramped
apartments in drab Soviet-era blocks on the outskirts of Baku, may
feel excluded from the oil boom that has transformed smarter parts of
town, says the Global Post agency referring to the Reuters.
According to the article, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev looks
sure to be re-elected on Wednesday on a third five-year term.
Opponents of Aliyev, say controls on dissent mean they have little
chance of stopping him winning.
`Located between Iran and Russia, Azerbaijan is a vital energy
supplier to Europe and a transit route for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Critics say this has made the West turn a blind eye to shrinking
freedoms since Aliyev came to power in 2003,’ the writer of the
Skyscraper looming over Baku is testament to the oil boom, but the
economic growth has slowed since 2003-2007. The main reason is a
slowdown in oil production, raising concerns and prompting Aliyev to
accuse operator BP of making “false promises,” the article raeds.
It notes that the new generation of Internet users, inspired by the
“Arab Spring” uprisings, sees no chance of ousting Aliyev next week,
but problems are growing that they hope he will have to address in his
next term – and might one day unseat him.
`As oil output peaks, discontent is growing over the gap between rich
and poor and tensions are rising with neighboring Armenia in a
territorial dispute that caused a war in the 1990s,’ the article
“I don’t believe change will come to this country through the election
as there is no real election in Azerbaijan,” blogger Adnan Hajizade
said. “This government is at the peak of its strength right now but if
a big social catastrophe happens, whether it’s a war or the country
runs out of natural resources, it will be a serious problem for them,”
Protests after Aliyev secured nearly 90 percent of the votes in the
2008 election were quickly ended. But opposition rallies have
increased in the past three years. Thousands of demonstrators demanded
Aliyev’s resignation at a rally in Baku last month, the author writes.
Dozens of Aliyev’s opponents have been arrested this year, more than
doubling the number of political prisoners to 142, the
Azerbaijan-based Human Rights Club said. Authorities have also raised
fines on protesters who attend unsanctioned rallies, the Reuters sums
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress