2018 Azerbaijani presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan on 11 April 2018.[1]

2018 Azerbaijani presidential election

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  Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended Strategic Outlook Eurasia session during World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos (cropped).jpg Zahid Oruc2 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Ilham Aliyev Zahid Oruc [az]
Party YAP Independent
Running mate Mehriban Aliyeva
Popular vote 3,394,898 122,956
Percentage 86.02% 3.12%

Map of 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018 Azerbaijani presidential elections.png
Result by constituency
  Ilham Aliyev

President before election

Ilham Aliyev

Elected President

Ilham Aliyev

The elections were the first since the 2016 constitutional referendum, which extended the presidential term from five to seven years.[2] Incumbent President Ilham Aliyev was re-elected president for a seven-year term.[3] The elections, which took place in an authoritarian context, were characterized as fraudulent.[4][5] Major opposition parties were disqualified before the election.[6] Eight candidates ran for the presidency, although there were doubts as to whether the opposition candidates were genuine candidates.[6]


Article 178 §1 of the electoral law sets the third Wednesday of October as the date for presidential elections, which would have meant the elections were held on 17 October 2018. However, the vote was unexpectedly brought forward by a presidential decree on 5 February 2018.[1] Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission (CEC) held a poll on 1 February 2018 on the preparation and delivery of double cabins for the voting room.[7]

Electoral systemEdit

The President of Azerbaijan is elected using the two-round system; if no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round, a run-off is held.[8] Polls opened nationwide at 08:00 and closed at 19:00.[9]


The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) decided to boycott the elections and intends to launch protests against the elections.[10] Another organisation, the Republican Alternative Movement (REAL), also announced that it would not recognize the results of the elections, calling them as a "hasty and unjustified step".[11] On 10 February the Musavat Party announced that it would also boycott the elections and its leader Isa Gambar would not run for president. The same day, another opposition party, the Party of Hope, also announced that they would not participate in the elections.


The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) announced that the election was not free and fair. In a press conference the day after the election, the OSCE found that there was "widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, a lack of transparency, and numerous serious irregularities, including ballot box stuffing." Aliyev's supporters took to disrupting the press conference and accused the international observation mission of bias.[12]


Opinion pollsEdit

A poll by ELS on 27 March found that 84.1% of respondents intended to vote for Aliyev. A poll by AJF & Associates on 28 March concluded that 82.9% or respondents intended to vote for Aliyev.[citation needed]

Date Pollster Aliyev Hasanguliyev Mamedov Hajiyev Guliyev Oruc Alizada Nurullayev Against all Undecided Abstention
2–3 April 2018 Omnibus 83.5% 2.0% 1.7% 1.6% 1.1% 0.9% 0.7% 0.5% 2.5% 2.3% 3.2%

Exit pollsEdit

Pollster Date Aliyev Hasanguliyev Mamedov Hajiyev Guliyev Oruc Alizada Nurullayev
Els 11 April 2018 82.71% 4.23% 3.56% 2.10% 1.33% 3.37% 1.87% 0.92%
Opinion Way 11 April 2018 86.53% 3.10% 2.81% 1.73% 1.03% 2.92% 1.21% 0.67%
Arthur J. Finkelstein & Associates 11 April 2018 85.57% 2.96% 2.48% 1.76% 1.52% 2.92% 1.42% 1.37%


Ilham AliyevNew Azerbaijan Party3,394,89886.02
Zahid OrujIndependent122,9563.12
Sardar MammadovAzerbaijan Democratic Party119,6213.03
Gudrat HasanguliyevWhole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party119,3113.02
Hafiz HajiyevModern Equality Party59,9241.52
Araz AlizadehAzerbaijani Social Democratic Party54,5331.38
Faraj GuliyevNational Revival Movement Party45,9671.16
Razi NurullayevIndependent29,2290.74
Valid votes3,946,43999.69
Invalid/blank votes12,4130.31
Total votes3,958,852100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,332,81774.24
Source: CEC


  1. ^ a b Azerbaijan brings forward date of presidential election to April 11: decree Reuters, 5 February 2018
  2. ^ Azerbaijan: Aliyev wins 7-year term on top of 15 served ABC News, 11 April 2018
  3. ^ Azerbaijan's President Secures Fourth Term In Vote Criticized As Uncompetetive Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 12 April 2018
  4. ^ "Azerbaijan's President Secures Fourth Term In Vote Criticized As Uncompetitive". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2021-07-03.
  5. ^ Azeri president's supporters heckle as observers declare election unfair Reuters, 12 April 2018
  6. ^ a b Bagirova, Nailia (2018-04-11). "Azerbaijan's Aliyev wins fourth term as president". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-07-03.
  7. ^ CEC Starts Preparations for Presidential Elections Archived 2018-02-07 at the Wayback Machine Contact, 6 February 2018
  8. ^ Republic of Azerbaijan: Election for President IFES
  9. ^ Azerbaijan votes in presidential election with Aliyev set for fourth term Reuters, 10 April 2018
  10. ^ Council of Democratic Forces Decides to Boycott Early Presidential Elections Archived 2018-02-06 at the Wayback Machine Contact, 6 February 2018
  11. ^ REAL Not to Recognize Results of Early Presidential Elections Archived 2018-02-09 at the Wayback Machine Contact, 5 February 2018
  12. ^ Azeri president's supporters heckle as observers declare election unfair Reuters, 12 April 2018