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Azerbaijan's 2005 Parliamentary Elections: A Failed Attempt at Transition
Working Paper

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CDDRL Working Papers

September 2008

The 2005 elections in Azerbaijan qualify as a failed transition from authoritarianism to democracy. The ability of the Aliyev regime to maintain its hold on power reflected both internal and external factors.  Although there is no way to judge the level of actual support for the government, Aliyev retained control of the security apparatus. Through its control of oil and gas revenues and the tight links between most business endeavors and politics, and its control of the broadcast media in particular, the regime was also able to prevent the opposition, which was more united than in previous elections, from mounting effective campaigns to mobilize citizens as voters or protestors.  Thus, although the Aliyev regime was vulnerable along certain dimensions (sizable groups living in poverty amidst high economic growth and rampant corruption in particular), in others, it was not. The lack of clear outside interest in seeing regime change in Azerbaijan was another factor that worked in the regime

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