Referendum in Azerbaijan: Stability for Security


On September 26th in Azerbaijan, a referendum is scheduled on amendments to the Constitution. The plebiscite was proposed by President Ilham Aliyev. The public will decide the fate of amendments to the 29 articles of the Basic Law.

Strengthening power

The most important are amendments regarding the extension of the country’s elected president’s term from from 5 to 7 years and excluding the constitutional provision that Azerbaijan can only be led by a person older than 35. Other proposed amendments include the introduction of the new posts of first vice-president and vice-presidents to be appointed by the Head of State. In addition, it was also proposed to give the president the right to dissolve the parliament and announce early presidential elections.


Among other things, the greatest interest among experts is the item on the abolition of the age limit for presidential candidates. Some see in this the desire of Ilham Aliyev to ensure his 19-year-old son Heydar the opportunity to take the presidency in 9 years. The father of the current president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, headed the country from 1993 to 2003. Ilham Aliyev became president three times after winning elections in 2003, 2008 and 2013. In 2025, when the next presidential term of Ilham Aliyev (if elected) will be, his son, Heydar, will be 28 years old.

Geopolitical meaning

The states of the former Soviet Union are faced with the challenge of defending their sovereignty and territorial integrity. To do this, it is necessary to fulfill two conditions: strengthen the power vertical, and ensure harmonious relations with Russia, which is the uncontested leader in this region. In many ways, this referendum is addressing such a task. After the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Baku was faced with a choice: either clean up the elite and the public space from the influence of agents of Atlanticism, or embark on a path of gradual decay under the influence of the West. Holding this referendum and following the course to ensure continuity and sovereignty indicates that the leadership of Azerbaijan aims to preserve the state and nation.