Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev appears to have taken a lesson from Alice in Wonderland’s Red Queen: “Sentence first—verdict afterwards.” However, Aliyev has modified it to “victory first, votes second.” The authoritarian regime was slightly embarrassed when the state media released the results of the election showing Aliyev winning with 72.76 percent of the vote. The problem is that the polls had not opened yet.
Ilham Aliyev is the son of Heydar Aliyev, who was Azerbaijan’s president from 1993-2003.
The election authorities released the vote a full day before actual voting. The vote tally was notably close to his vote in 2003 of 76.84. The regime appears to have decided to let him slip a little in popularity but it was still higher than the 87 percent in 2008.
The loser was opposition candidate Jamil Hasanli with 7.4 percent of the vote. Hasanli had complained about being denied air time on state television, but that proved to be harmless since Aliyev decided to do away with the necessity of voting as a condition for office.
Officials quickly recalled the figures and insisted that it was merely a computer glitch.
They are now tallying the vote and . . . hold on to your hat . . . Aliyev is winning handily by 85 percent of the vote.
Source: Washington Post