For many Azerbaijani voters, the only choice is to laugh

Azerbaijani voters go to the polls on April 11 for a presidential election. The outcome of the vote is already known: President Ilham Aliyev will be reelected.

But seven other candidates also are on the ballot, and even if they don’t offer Azerbaijanis a viable choice, they are at least providing a source of humor.

One candidate, Hafiz Hajiyev, is frequently compared to Russia’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky for his vicious, often vulgar attacks on government opponents. Young liberal activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev has undertaken a mock campaign in support of Hafiz Hajiyev with the slogan, “Make Azerbaijan Great Again.”

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Azerbaijan’s Election Is a Farce

The United States should be condemning Ilham Aliyev’s corrupt regime rather than condoning it.

In the past few weeks, first in Russia and then in Egypt, leaders have used so-called elections to provide a patina of legitimacy for their grip on power. Russian President Vladimir Putin secured yet another term with nearly 77 percent of the vote; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi did even better, nailing down 97 percent of the vote in Egypt. Neither of them deserved congratulations from Western leaders.

In both cases, the outcome of the election was known well before voters went to the polls, as any serious opponents were prevented from running and the cards were solidly stacked in favor of the incumbents. These were not real elections in any sense of the term.

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Azerbaijan’s president prefers pop stars to democracy

RULE ONE of the Dictator’s Handbook: Allow no one else to seriously challenge you in an election. Rule Two: Spend enough of your nation’s treasure to lure a popular Western entertainer to distract from Rule One. Previously, President Ilham Aliyev, son of a strongman who inherited his father’s distaste for democracy, enticed Lady Gaga to perform, then Mariah Carey. Now Mr. Aliyev has booked pop star Christina Aguilera for the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 28.

That will be just 2½ weeks after Wednesday’s presidential election. Mr. Aliyev has so thoroughly suffocated democracy in Azerbaijan that he will certainly win a fourth term by a wide margin. The campaign is entirely uncompetitive. Two opposition parties are calling for a boycott. Mr. Aliyev moved up the election date by six months, perhaps in order to get it out of the way before the auto race, which presumably will be more competitive than the political one.

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Turkish Racism

In case the ongoing, periodic massacres of Armenians in and/or by the Ottoman Empire and its willing and eager collaborators weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1905 massacres of Armenians by “Tatars” (which were reciprocated)—as Azerbaijanis were referred to back then—weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the Armenian Genocide wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the simultaneous genocide of Assyrians and Greeks wasn’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1918 Baku massacres by locals and Enver Pasha’s “Army of Islam” weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

In case the 1920 sacking of Shushi, a vibrant Armenian cultural center, and its accompanying massacres weren’t enough proof of Turkish racism;

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At the Baku airport, an Estonian citizen of Armenian origin was not allowed to enter the country

At the same Aliyev yells at every corner about tolerance! Then the news comes out that an Armenian or an Armenian (paid of course) came to Baku and so on. On the other hand, I would like to ask Karina,  do you aware of situation on the Caucasus?

The Azerbaijani authorities deported from the Baku airport an Estonian citizen of Armenian origin, Tallinn City Council member Karine Hovhannisyan, who was not allowed to enter the country where she arrived on March 23 – to take part in the International Teachers Symposium. As “Armenpress” reports, Karine Oganesyan writes about this on her Facebook page.

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Azeri activists protest against Aliyev regime in Washington rally

YEREVAN, MARCH 15, ARMENPRESS. Azeri activists held a protest rally March 14 outside the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington D.C..

The activists were protesting against the dictatorial regime of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani Azadliq news agency reported.

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There is Now a Statue of a Dove in Sumgait

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There was a time when I had decided never to use the word “Genocide” because, if before it only encompassed the demand to bring the perpetrator to justice, then there came a time when the fact that your people were subjected to Genocide became humiliating.

Starting on February 20, 1988, we were demanding that the decision of the Armenian population of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast to join Armenia be respected. What happened six days later, in the industrial Azerbaijani town of Sumgait was that word which I had decided never to utter – Genocide. In a Soviet country, where Internationalism was a beloved and cherished concept, a state-sponsored genocide took place.

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30th anniversary of Sumgait pogroms: black spots of Azerbaijan

I present to your attention the article by Sergei Markedonov, an associate professor of the Chair of Foreign Region Studies and Foreign Policy of the Russian State Humanitarian University.

The Sumgait tragedy, which occurred 30 years ago, became one of the bloodiest events in the history of the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation. It made the “divorce” of the two peoples uncontested.

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Massacres in Baku in 1990 were Organized by Heydar Aliyev

Azerbaijani human rights activist and historian Arif Yunusov, who now resides in the Netherlands as a political immigrant, recently gave an interview to an Azerbaijani online TV channel “Obyektiv TV”. Yunusov stated that Armenian pogroms in January 1990, as well as Black January had been carried out by the order of Heydar Aliyev, who sought to come to power in Azerbaijan.

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Yerevan Slams Aliyev’s Latest Territorial Claim on Armenia; Calls Azerbaijani President’s Remarks ‘Racist’

BAKU, Azerbaijan (A.W.)—Armenian authorities have harshly criticized Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s address to the sixth congress of his New Azerbaijan (Yeni Azerbayacan) party on Thursday, calling his remarks racist.

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