The Azerbaijani president Aliyev has “hit” almost 90% and was reelected. The international response to the snap election of Aliyev is not loud which may be explained by the escalation in Syria and the anxious expectation of a world war when none of the centers of power had time for Aliyev.
Maybe the answer is here why Ilham Aliyev shifted the date of the elections and held snap elections in April. In this case, the question occurs whether Aliyev knew that the West-Russia confrontation would escalate in April, and there would be almost a direct clash between the United States and Russia.
It would be funny to think that the Azerbaijani president knows about the plans and intentions of the U.S. president, the Russian president, the leaders of Western states. On the other hand, there is the Turkish factor and Erdogan has been informed about much more and may have more or less precise predictions on the visible future.
Therefore, it is not ruled out that Aliyev had his advice to do the job in April when the international relations will be overly tense, and Aliyev’s reelection will not get a big and detailed attention.
In addition, the problem was not the tough statements and avoiding the necessity for clarifications but the risk of more serious strikes ahead of the regular election in October and facing real problems, including removal from government.
The problem is not that there would be a color revolution in Azerbaijan. There would rather be a velvet revolution in which the president of Azerbaijan would have to hand power to his wife Mehriban Aliyeva, the first deputy president of Azerbaijan, whose behavior ahead of the presidential election demonstratively ignored her husband’s government.
In this particular case, Mehriban Aliyeva’s factor is more than an internecine and family confrontation. The problem is that a velvet coup or a velvet revolution in Azerbaijan is one of the options of transforming the Artsakh issue to match the new setting and reducing the constant risk of war with a more sustainable and long-term mechanism as one of the scenarios of transformation of the regional security system.
After all, Aliyev does not have a way to step back from military diplomacy, even if he is keen on this. He is, perhaps, well-aware but does not hurry to step back, as long as it is not inevitable or at least to bargain. After all, he can always be replaced by Mehriban, especially in a race with Mehriban, as her de jure husband.