Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Monday, November 07, 2005

Aliyev Embarasses The West

That's all I can say about the blatant and rampant cases of vote rigging during Sundays vote. For those of you who don't know whats been going on since the last time I posted on the Azeri election, NewEurasia's Azerbaijan Blog is the best place to go, or for a quick round-up this link from the BBC.

It's a case of embarassment for Bush and the EU who had hoped that Baku was moving towards Democracy and had in recent weeks stated that signs were encouraging. It's also shameful for the leaders of GUAM a grouping of supposedly-democratic states in the post-Soviet space. President Aliyev now looks like the weak link, and is sure to ruin any credibility this organisation may have had. Georgian President Saakashvili had also hailed the 'progress' Baku had undertaken towards Democracy.

I don't know what kind of horse-trading is going on between Washington and Baku in an attempt to save face, but I find this particularly odd. Despite ex-Soviet dictators obsession with 'colour revolutions', the Baku Mayoral office has authorized Azadliq (that's the opposition bloc) to hold a rally on November 9. An attempt to boost Aliyev's tattered reputation? What I really don't understand is why the opposition has waited until 3 days after the election to protest. Surely it would be better to be out on the street now whilst tensions are running high?

Expect no colour revolutions here, the opposition has little public support. This is why so many thought this poll would be free and fair - there was no need to rig it. The paranoia of the Azeri government, guaranteed that they would never allow a free vote.


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