International Edition
 COUNTRY  Republic of Azerbaijan
 ELECTION TYPE  Presidential
 DATE  October 15, 2003
At stake in this election:
  • The office of the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Description of government structure:
  • Chief of State: President Heydar ALIYEV
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Ilham ALIYEV
  • National Assembly: Azerbaijan has a unicameral National Assembly (Milli Mejlis) which consists of 125 seats.
Description of electoral system:
  • The president is elected by popular vote to serve a five year term.
  • Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote to serve a five year term. Out of the 125 members, 100 members were elected from single mandate constituencies while the remaining 25 were elected based on proportional representation. Approval of a recent referendum, however, ensures that all 125 members will be elected from single mandate districts in the next parliamentary election.
Results in the presidential race:

  • Presidential Candidate: Ilham ALIYEV
    Nominated by Nakhichevan electorates (initiative group of citizens)
    Valid Votes Received: 2,438,787
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 77.97%

  • Presidential Candidate: Isa GAMBAR
    Party: Musavat Party
    Valid Votes Received: 372,385
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 11.91%

  • Presidential Candidate: Lala-Shovket HAJIYEVA
    Party: National Unity (Milli Birlik)
    Valid Votes Received: 100,558
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 3.22%

  • Presidential Candidate: Etibar MAMEDOV
    Party: Azerbaijan National Independence Party (AMIP) and the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (AHCP)
    Valid Votes Received: 62,401
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 2.00%

  • Presidential Candidate: Ilyas ISMAYILOV
    Party: Adalet (Justice) Party
    Valid Votes Received: 24,926
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 0.80%

  • Presidential Candidate: Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI
    Party: Civil Solidarity Party
    Valid Votes Received: 23,730
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 0.76%

  • Presidential Candidate: Gudrat HASANGULIYEV
    Party: “Popular Front” (Khalg Jabhesi)
    Valid Votes Received: 13,624
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 0.44%

  • Presidential Candidate: Hafiz HAJIYEV
    Party: Modem Musavat Party
    Valid Votes Received: 9,990
    Percent of Valid Votes Received: 0.32%

When was the last presidential election?
  • The last presidential election was held on October 11, 1998. In this election, Heydar ALIYEV won the presidency by securing 77.6% of the valid votes over Etibar MAMEDOV who had 11.8%, and Nizami SULEYMANOV with 8.2% of the votes.
Population and number of registered voters:
  • Population: 7,830,764 (July 2003 estimate)
  • Number of registered voters: 4,382,802
Is there anything unique about this upcoming election that would be of interest to an international audience?
  • Hafiz HAJIYEV of the Contemporary Musavat Party and Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI of the Civil Solidarity Party were almost disqualified in the presidential race due to lack of signatures. However, the Central Election Commission allowed their participation because they paid the required fees to participate in the race.
  • On September 14, the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (AHCP) and the Azerbaijan National Independence Party (AMIP) agreed on having AMIP Chairman Etibar MAMEDOV as their presidential candidate. If MAMEDOV is elected as President, the AHCP will be granted the power to nominate a Prime Minister.
  • Harassment of journalists, lack of access to media for presidential candidates, and concerns that President ALIYEV will pass the presidency to his son, Prime Minister Ilham ALIYEV, are among the top concerns surrounding the elections.
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