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Azeri Leader Aliyev Calls Snap Presidential Election for April

Ilham Aliyev

Ilham Aliyev

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev called a snap presidential election for April 11, six months ahead of schedule, in a surprise move that drew criticism from his domestic opponents.

Aliyev, who’s been in office since 2003, offered no explanation in a decree announcing the decision on Monday. The election was previously slated for Oct. 17. The ruling New Azerbaijan Party, known as YAP, earlier said it would nominate Aliyev for the presidency again, potentially extending his rule to 2025.