Procedure for the Election of the President of Azerbaijan
In accordance with the Constitution of Azerbaijan (1995), executive power in the republic belongs to the president. The process of electing the President of Azerbaijan follows a clear set of rules and procedures to ensure fairness and transparency. Here is an overview of the election process:
Eligibility Criteria for Presidential Candidates
To be eligible for presidency, a candidate must fulfill the following criteria:
- Be a citizen of Azerbaijan who has permanently resided in the country for over 10 years
- Have the right to vote
- Have not been convicted of a serious crime
- Have no obligations to other states
- Have a higher education
- Do not possess dual citizenship
Duration of Presidency
The President of Azerbaijan is elected for a seven-year term through universal, equal, and direct suffrage with free, personal, and secret voting. The President also has the right to announce early presidential elections.
According to the Electoral Code of Azerbaijan, election day is set as the Wednesday of the second week of the month in which the presidential elections took place seven years ago. The Central Election Commission determines the exact election day, and their decision must be published no later than two days before the election.
Extraordinary Presidential Elections
Extraordinary presidential elections can occur in two instances:
- If the exercise of powers by the president is terminated before the expiration of the constitutionally established term.
- If the president proclaims the need for extraordinary elections.
If circumstances arise where the president resigns before the regular presidential election is called, the regular election is suspended, and a snap presidential election is called.
If early elections are announced, the Central Election Commission sets the voting day for the Wednesday within a week, and the election campaign period lasts for 60 days. Voting day is considered a non-working day.
Citizens of Azerbaijan who have reached the age of 18 possess active voting rights. Additionally, stateless persons who have reached the age of 18 and have been permanently residing in Azerbaijan for at least five years are also eligible to participate in the voting process. However, persons whose incompetence is recognized by a court decision are deprived of the right to participate in elections.
Nomination of Candidates
Presidential candidates can be nominated by political parties, blocs of political parties, or citizens with the right to vote. Each citizen or group can organize an initiative group consisting of a minimum of 100 people to nominate a presidential candidate. The nomination of candidates begins after the official publication of the decision to call elections.
To support a presidential candidate, at least 40,000 signatures must be gathered in favor of the candidate. Each voter is allowed to support only one candidate. The upper limit of a presidential candidate’s election fund cannot exceed 10 million manat.
The list of registered candidates is published by the Central Election Commission in the media no later than 20 days before voting day. This ensures that the public is aware of the candidates and has enough time to make an informed decision.
The election campaigning period starts 23 days before the voting day and ends 24 hours before the commencement of voting. It is crucial to note that publishing the results of public opinion polls and forecasts of election results is prohibited in the media 24 hours before voting day.
On voting day, polling stations are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Precinct election commissions are responsible for notifying voters about the place and time of voting through the media or information boards at least 25 days before voting day.
For voters unable to vote at their designated polling station, the option of obtaining an absentee ballot in advance is available. This allows them to vote at another polling station within the given timeframe.
Overall, the election process in Azerbaijan follows a well-defined set of rules and regulations to ensure a fair and transparent presidential election. These procedures are designed to uphold the democratic principles of the country and enable citizens to exercise their right to vote effectively.
Voting Procedures in the Presidential Election of Azerbaijan
In the upcoming presidential election in Azerbaijan, voters are being presented with a set of procedures aimed at ensuring fairness and accessibility to the voting process. These procedures, outlined in the Azerbaijani Constitution and Electoral Code, are designed to guarantee a transparent and democratic election. Here is a detailed look at the voting procedures that will be followed on election day.
Firstly, if a voter is unable to come to the polling station due to health reasons, they must inform the precinct election commission orally or in writing, either in person or through another person, of their desire to vote outside the polling station. This notification must be made no later than one day before the election day. This provision ensures that no eligible voter is disenfranchised due to health-related concerns.
Additionally, in communities with fewer than 50 voters, where it takes more than an hour for them to reach a polling place, the county election office has the authority to arrange transportation for these voters. This ensures that even voters in remote areas have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote without facing significant logistical challenges.
On the voting day, voters present themselves at their designated polling stations. Here, a member of the precinct election commission administers a unique identification process. The voter’s left thumb is marked using a harmless, invisible liquid sprayed onto the skin. The marking is not visible to the naked eye but can be detected using an ultraviolet lamp. This innovative method helps to maintain the integrity of the voting process, ensuring that only eligible voters are issued a ballot.
The ballot for the presidential election features comprehensive information about the candidates. In alphabetical order, the last name, first name, patronymic, date of birth, place of residence, main place of work or occupation of the presidential candidate are indicated. The ballot also specifies by whom the candidacy was nominated, providing voters with a well-rounded understanding of the candidates and their background.
During the voting process, voters are required to place a mark on the ballot paper in the square to the right of the name of the candidate for whom they wish to vote. However, it is crucial for voters to understand that if they mark more than one box or fail to mark any box, their vote will be considered invalid. This measure aims to ensure that each voter casts a clear and unambiguous vote, preventing any potential confusion or misinterpretation of their choice.
The President of Azerbaijan is elected by a majority of more than half of the votes cast. If no candidate manages to obtain such a majority in the first round of voting, a second round is held on the second Sunday following the first round. The Central Election Commission promptly announces this re-vote information within two days of making the decision. In the second round, only the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round, or the two candidates next after the top vote-earners who withdrew their candidacies, are eligible to participate. This ensures that the voting process remains competitive and focused on the candidates with the most significant support.
The candidate who receives the majority of votes in the second round of voting is declared as the elected president of Azerbaijan. The results of the election are then announced by the Constitutional Court of the republic within 14 days after the voting day. This official announcement provides a clear and authoritative confirmation of the election outcome.
In the rare event where the Constitutional Court declares the results of the presidential election as invalid, a repeat presidential election is ordered by the decision of the Central Election Commission. This emphasizes the commitment to uphold the integrity and credibility of the election process.
In the case of early presidential elections, the Central Election Commission, in conjunction with the decision to hold the elections, establishes and publishes specific deadlines for the implementation of electoral actions. However, it is important to note that the terms established cannot be reduced by more than half. This provision ensures that there is adequate time for the necessary preparations and ensures fairness in the electoral process.
Once the election results are announced, the elected President of Azerbaijan assumes office by taking an oath in the presence of judges from the Constitutional Court within three days from the day the election results are officially declared. From this day forward, the president is considered to have officially commenced their term and begins exercising their powers.
These voting procedures have been compiled based on information from open sources and are in line with the Azerbaijani Constitution and Electoral Code. These measures aim to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and ensure that the voices of the Azerbaijani people are effectively represented in the election of their president.