The National Assembly of Azerbaijan, or Milli Məclis is a unicameral parliament, where 125 deputies are elected every five years on the basis of a majoritarian electoral system – one representative from each of the 125 districts.
Thanks to the majority system, the ruling party, New Azerbaijan, ensures the participation of its own candidates in each district, in order to occupy the majority of seats.
The parliament may limit the power of the president, but in its entire history it has never used this right. At the moment, a deputy’s salary is about $1,000, plus numerous benefits and perks.
Most of the parliamentary seats have been held by the presidential party New Azerbaijan since 1995. Under the previous president, Heydar Aliyev, the opposition always represented an absolute minority in parliament.
Each time, in the parliamentary elections, international observers reported fraud, and part of the results were thrown out, while repeat votes were held.
Now there are 69 deputies from the New Azerbaijan Parliament, 53 non-partisan deputies (also loyal to the authorities) and three people from little-known parties. There has been no opposition in parliament since 2010.
In 2010, the opposition did not go to parliament, and in 2015, they completely boycotted the elections.
At the end of 2019, the ruling presidential party New Azerbaijan proposed to dissolve and re-elect the parliament (Milli Məclis), explaining that the current makeup does not comply with the president’s policy. The parliament almost unanimously voted its own dissolution.
Еarly elections were set for February 9th, 2020.