Ilham Aliyev swears to defend territorial integrity of Azerbaijan
On 18 April Ilham Aliyev was officially inaugurated as president of Azerbaijan for a fourth term. He swore on the constitution of Azerbaijan and on the Qu’ran.
Foreign guests were not invited to the inauguration, as is customary in Azerbaijan. Unlike his father Heydar Aliyev, the current president prefers to conduct inauguration ceremonies in less public places, in this case parliament.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Aliyev first thanked his supporters and stated that the elections took place in a fair environment and that they expressed the will of the Azerbaijani nation.
“While exercising the authority of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I swear to observe the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to defend its independence and the territorial integrity of the state … and to serve the people with dignity!” he said.
Aliyev also added:
“Putting my hand on the holy Qu’ran, I swear to abide by the national-spiritual values and traditions of the country that have been created by the Azerbaijani nation over the centuries, and to cherish them.”
Immediately after the inauguration ceremony, the president dismissed the government, as per legislation.
Experts say that one of the main points of interest in the coming days will be who will take up the position as prime minister of Azerbaijan. The current prime minister, 83-year-old Artur Rasizade, may possibly be replaced by a younger and more energetic individual given his age and health condition. Among the candidates are Finance Minister Samir Sharifov, Deputy Prime Minister Yakub Eyyubov and the Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party Ali Ahmedov.
OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) observers strongly criticised the election campaign period and the voting process, stating that the ‘snap presidential elections in Azerbaijan took place in an atmosphere of limited basic rights and freedoms, which are necessary for a democratic election campaign’.