Project leader

Sofie Bedford

Project period

November-December 2013

Project description

On October 9 presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan. Due to a 2009 change of the constitution the incumbent, Ilham Aliyev, was allowed to stand as candidate for a third term and nobody was surprised when he won a landslide victory in an election that the OCSE/ODHIR monitoring mission described as “undermined by limitations on fundamental freedoms, lack of level playing field and significant problems on election day”. Still these elections showed interesting developments as far as the opposition forces in Azerbaijani politics are concerned. It raises interesting questions about if and how the ”new opposition” influenced the electoral process, the impact of social media and the interaction between the representatives as well as their interaction with the general population that is reputed for its political apathy. It also makes for interesting discussion on more general issues of opposition and democratization interplay applicable to other contexts as well. These and other issues were addressed in on open moderated academic seminar. Panelists with special insight in the Azerbaijani political context and/or the dynamics of political opposition in other contexts discussed a number of questions related to the experiences of the opposition during the election process and the conclusions to be drawn from these.

Related publications

Sofie Bedford, Laurent Vinatier, Leila Aliyeva, and Vugar Goyajev ‘Failed Opposition’ Reconsidered: Dynamism and Changing Paradigms in Azerbaijan. In Kaj Hobér, ed., Uppsala Yearbook of Eurasian Studies. Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing: London. 2016. 104-122.  

Events in connection to the project

Seminar on November 7, 2013

Major funding source

Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice