Azerbaijan Presidential Election, 2003

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    • Ilham Aliyev
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    • Artur Rasizade
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A presidential election was held in Azerbaijan on October 15, 2003. As expected, Ilham Aliyev, son of the outgoing president, Heydar Aliyev, was easily elected in an election which international observers held not to be free or fair.

e • d Summary of the 15 October 2003 Azerbaijan presidential election results
Candidates and nominating parties Votes %
İlham Aliyev — New Azerbaijan Party (Yeni Azərbaycan Partiyası) 2,438,787 76.8
İsa Qambar — Equality Party (Müsavat Partiyası) 372,385 14.0
Lalə Şövket Hacıyeva — National Unity (Milli Birlik) 100,558 3.6
Etibar Mammadov — Azerbaijan National Independence Party (Azərbaycan Milli İstiqlal Partiyası) 62,401 2.9
İlyas İsmayılov — Justice Party (Ədalət Partiyası) 24,926 1.0
Sabir Rüstamxanlı — Civic Solidarity Party (Vətəndaş Həmrəyliyi Partiyası) 23,730 0.8
Qüdrat Hasanquliyev — Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (Azərbaycan Xalq Cəbhəsi Partiyası) 13,624 0.5
Hafiz Hajiyev — Modern Equality Party (Müasir Müsavat Partiyası) 9,990 0.3
Total (turnout 71.5 %) 3,046,401
Source: Central Election Commission

Human Rights Watch commented on these elections: "Human Rights Watch research found that the government has heavily intervened in the campaigning process in favor of Prime Minister Ilham Aliev, son of current President Heidar Aliev. The government has stacked the Central Election Commission and local election commission with its supporters, and banned local non-governmental organizations from monitoring the vote. As the elections draw nearer, government officials have openly sided with the campaign of Ilham Aliev, constantly obstructing opposition rallies and attempting to limit public participation in opposition events. In some cases, local officials have closed all the roads into town during opposition rallies, or have extended working and school hours - on one occasion, even declaring a Sunday work day - to prevent participation in opposition rallies." (source: HTML format).

The Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe's (IDEE) organized 188 election observers for the October 15, 2003 presidential elections in Azerbaijan. This monitoring mission, requested by the U.S. government, formed part of a larger group of observers monitoring under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In response to the OSCE/ODIHR Preliminary Report, the IDEE observers, who observed more than 1,000 voting precincts and Constituency Election Centers where votes were tabulated, collectively issued a "Votum Separatum," which expressed their outrage at the election fraud, intimidation and political repression they witnessed during their observation mission and their disagreement with the OSCE's mild preliminary report calling the elections "generally well administered." (

  • OSCE's final report (source: HTML format or PDF format))
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