Azerbaijanis vote Sunday in a snap election that resulted from a sudden political housecleaning last fall. In October, President Ilham Aliyev dismissed his chief of staff, Ramiz Mehdiyev, and replaced a set of top officials linked to Mehdiyev’s “old guard” with younger technocrats. Azerbaijan’s National Assembly then agreed to dissolve the legislature and hold new elections on Feb. 9.
This was big news in an authoritarian regime where a single leader and his circle of close associates have structured the country’s politics for the past 16 years. Here’s what you need to know.
1. This could be a power play
Some analysts see the political shake-up as the sign of the demise of Azerbaijan’s old guard — and a consolidation of power within the family of first lady and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva (nee Pashayeva).… Seguir leyendo »