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Azerbaijanis Ready To Head To Polls For Snap Parliamentary Election

By Mushvig Mehdiyev December 8, 2019

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Milli Majlis, the unicameral parliament of Azerbaijan, consists of 125 members that are elected for five-year terms / Courtesy

Millions of Azerbaijanis will soon vote in a snap parliamentary election after the Constitutional Court on Wednesday sanctioned the president’s appeal on checking the conformity of the dissolution of parliament.

A parliamentary election was initially slated for November 2020. But following the court’s decision, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree to finally dissolve the parliament and hold elections on February 9, 2020. 

The incumbent parliament is, after the court’s ruling, unable to pass legislation. However, it will continue to fulfill its other obligations, such as handling crisis and external threats.

Dissolving the current legislature first made headlines in late November, when the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) proposed the idea that was aimed at expanding the scope of recent substantive reforms. To do this, the party decided to renew the structure of the parliament. NAP currently holds approximately 70 out of the 125 seats in Azerbaijan’s unicameral parliament, known as the Milli Majlis.

On December 2, the parliament unanimously supported the initiative and appealed to the president to put it into action. President Ilham Aliyev conveyed the appeal to the Constitutional Court on the same day.

Commenting on the issue, Baku-based political analyst Ilgar Velizade said this is all part of radical changes in management approaches of the authorities of Azerbaijan.

“In the face of rapid changes, waiting for another year with the old parliament would be counterproductive,” Valizade said, according to Press-unity.com. “The ruling party occupies the majority of seats in parliament. An update is definitely needed. And the ruling party understands this.”

“People with the same approach and level of thinking, with the same stereotypes and outlook, cannot adequately assess and propose solutions to the social problems that exist today. But the renewal should not consist only in rejuvenation, people of a new formation are needed. Who will be proposed by the ruling party in the upcoming elections will be seen very soon.”

Members of parliament are elected for five-year terms through a majority electoral system that is based on universal, equal and direct elections by citizens of the Caspian region country. The recently dissolved parliament was the fifth legislature of its kind since 1995.