SNAP PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN AZERBAIJAN Azerbaijan is holding snap leadership elections on Wednesday, with incumbent President Ilham Aliyev among six other candidates competing for a seven-year term. Some 6.5 million eligible voters in Azerbaijan and overseas are to cast their ballots at a total of 6,537 polling stations set up at home and Azerbaijani Embassies worldwide, the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission has informed. One wonders what drove this decision: – The first reason is the full restoration of sovereignty of Azerbaijan. The elections mark the end of an era. In September 2023, Azerbaijan concluded such an era, which was an epochal event. There has been no similar Victory in the centuries-old history of Azerbaijan. Considering all the factors – political, military, the 30-year occupation, the natural terrain of the territory, and the number of defense lines – this is the most brilliant Victory of the Azerbaijani people and state. When this new era begins, a presidential election should mark the beginning of this new era. Because every period is a certain period of time, and the liberation of the territories occupied for 30 years and the full restoration of sovereignty are the beginning of a new period. This is the first reason. – The second reason is that for the first time in the independent life of Azerbaijan, an election will be held in every corner of the country. Since presidential elections are the most important elections compared to all others. The presidential elections should be the first elections to be held in liberated territories and every part of Azerbaijan. – Another reason is that President Ilham Aliyev’s activities as President have passed the 20-year mark. This is also a certain period and it must be considered this as a conclusion in itself, and the holding of a presidential elections again after 20 years, of course, represents a justification for this chronological period. So, these are the main reasons. These reasons have been arranged according to their importance. The first reason is the beginning of a new era, and the presidential elections will provide a blessing for this new era as well. Why some countries and international organizations can not digest the successes of Azerbaijan? – Unfortunately, the key players of the international community did not share our opinion. On the contrary, they tried to blame us and to engage various pressure mechanisms against us. In other words, we achieved this justice by waging political and diplomatic war at the international level. – Some critics of Azerbaijan speak the language of the enemy country or represent the behest of the countries that are always up to twist the arm of Azerbaijan. The independent media most often expose them for their blame game. What are the reasons that increase the probability of Ilham Aliyev’s re-election as President? 1. Improvement of the social and economic well-being of the Azerbaijani people repeatedly in these years -In 2003-2022, the GDP of Azerbaijan increased from 7.3 billion dollars to 78.7 billion dollars; – state budget expenses increased from 1.2 billion manats to 36.6 billion manats; -strategic currency reserves increased from 1.4 billion dollars to 66.1 billion dollars; – the average monthly salary increased from 77.4 manats to 839.4 manats -poverty level decreased from 44.7% to 5.5%. 2. Liberation of the Azerbaijani territories from Armenian occupation after almost 30 years. Consequently, Azerbaijan restored its territorial integrity and sovereignty and the former Azerbaijani IDPs (1 million people) are gradually returning to their homes. 3. Transformation of Azerbaijan into a country to host international events (Formula 1, Islamic Solidarity Games, COP-29, etc.) and increase of Azerbaijan’s reputation worldwide (Chairmanship to Non-Aligned Movement, Election of Azerbaijan to a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, 4. Transformation of Azerbaijan to an international hub between East-West and North-South.