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OPINION | Tatevik Hayrapetyan Unveils the Hidden Agendas Behind Azerbaijan's February 7th Elections

Updated: Apr 18

Opinion: Tatevik Hayrapetyan Unveils the Hidden Agendas Behind Azerbaijan's February 7th Elections

In a candid and insightful piece for The Armenian Report, Tatevik Hayrapetyan, an expert on Azerbaijan, former Member of Parliament, and ex-Armenian delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), sheds light on the upcoming snap presidential elections in Azerbaijan scheduled for February 7. The article delves into the various implications these elections hold for Armenia, offering a comprehensive analysis for The Armenian Report readers.


Opinion Piece by Tatevik Hayrapetyan

Opinion: Tatevik Hayrapetyan Unveils the Hidden Agendas Behind Azerbaijan's February 7th Elections

The snap elections in Azerbaijan, taking place on February 7, have several main objectives. First and foremost, Aliyev is normalizing the utilization and threat of force as a method to address issues in the region. His acknowledgment that war is his life mission, coupled with a recent statement emphasizing Azerbaijan's lack of interest in a peaceful resolution over the decades, indicates a consistent pattern: he was imitating peace talks for decades and preparing for a war scenario. It is crucial to understand that Aliyev maintains the same approach now. On January 10, he stated that for 30 years, many proposals were made during the negotiations. Some might wonder why Azerbaijan did not accept them. After all, based on these proposals, several districts would have been returned to Azerbaijan without war, displaced persons would have returned to their homes, and the situation would have normalized. Why didn’t Azerbaijan agree to these proposals? Of course, the negotiations had their strategy and tactics. We conducted the negotiations in a manner that minimized external pressure while achieving our goals. But the main thing for me was that this is a historical issue, a national issue, and it would be wrong to seek seemingly favorable gains. We must solve the issue in a fundamental way, we must solve it once and for all, we must fully restore our territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Another crucial factor is for him to establish Azerbaijani jurisdiction after the ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh. Since Azerbaijan's declaration of independence, no elections have occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh under Azerbaijani law. Apparently, Aliyev endeavors to present his dictatorship as "elected," suggesting that the populace willingly endorses his dictatorial rule. After decades of propagating aggression, animosity, and reprisals against Armenians, Aliyev illustrates how he "punishes" Armenians, revealing his intention to persist in aggressive actions. The active suppression of voices advocating for reconciliation and peace by Aliyev's regime signifies a clear commitment to perpetuating hatred and aggression in this "new era," as he has announced, with the primary focus being the territory of the Republic of Armenia, which he calls “Western Azerbaijan.”

It's also evident that following the elections, Aliyev will take further steps to sideline the West from the process. This strategy could find favor in Moscow, potentially enabling Aliyev to reshape the entire framework of previous negotiations. Thus, after the elections, we will witness a more aggressive and assertive Azerbaijan, eager for another escalation and war. If Aliyev harbored even the slightest desire for regional peace, he would refrain from advancing and promoting territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia. This serves as yet another sign of the inherent link between the constant presence of war or its looming threat, hostility towards the Armenian people, and Aliyev's authoritarian rule. Despite the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh, Aliyev struggles to exhibit composure, persisting in his pursuit of perceived adversaries both within and beyond his borders.


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