Azerbaijan goes to the polls today for a referendum on whether to scrap the country’s two-term presidential limit.
A “yes” vote would cement the dynastic legacy of President Ilham Aliyev. His father, Heydar, led Soviet Azerbaijan between 1969 and 1982, and later served as President of independent Azerbaijan from 1993 to 2003, when he was succeeded by his son. The country of 8.7 million lies at a strategic crossroads where East and West are vying for control over energy supplies from Central Asia. A resource-rich country, Azerbaijan has seen its fortunes skyrocket over the past few years. Oil has fuelled rapid rates of economic growth, driving infrastructure projects and transforming the skyline in Baku. But some analysts say the government is looking to shore up 47-year-old Aliyev’s tenure against the uncertain impact of the global financial crisis.