Vote of confidence: Ilham Aliyev's four-year victory
By Ayya Lmahamad
Four years ago, on April 11, 2018, Azerbaijan held presidential elections, in which acting President Ilham Aliyev won with 86.03 percent of the votes. The president was re-elected for the next seven years, demonstrating his high popularity and credibility among the country's people.
President Ilham Aliyev, who has been elected as head of state four times since 2003, winning in 2003, 2008, and 2013, took the unprecedented step in 2018 of calling an early election in order to regain the trust of the Azerbaijani people, who fully support his foreign and domestic policies.
It was a vote of confidence in the politician, who has focused all of his efforts on completing a historic task: the de-occupation of all Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia.
President Aliyev's most notable achievement is victory in the 44-day Second Karabakh War, which resulted in Armenia's defeat, the liberation of the occupied territories, and the end of the long-running conflict.
Throughout the war, Ilham Aliyev demonstrated that he was not only a successful diplomat but also an exceptional expert in military strategy and tactics, personally leading many military operations. During numerous meetings and interviews with leading foreign mass media, the president was able to convey to the international community the truth about the Azerbaijani people's just struggle for the liberation of the occupied territories. In the name of victory, he was able to accomplish the most important goal: he was able to unite all Azerbaijanis who stood united in defense of the country.
Ilham Aliyev gained indisputable authority among Azerbaijanis all over the world after fulfilling his main pre-election promise of restoring Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
Furthermore, under the leadership of Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has emerged as a regional leader and a significant player in the international arena.
Today, Azerbaijan's economic potential can be compared to that of some developed countries around the world, based on population and territory size.
All of the global transport and energy projects that he oversaw proved to be in high demand in these new difficult conditions. After the entire world was placed under global quarantine in March 2020, it was discovered that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the new Caspian Sea port of Alat, and new international airports built have become important transit transshipment points for the transportation of transit cargo, including medicines and medical equipment required to combat the pandemic.
The completed Southern Gas Corridor has become an important alternative source of energy security in Europe, and its importance has recently increased in light of events in Ukraine.
Simultaneously, agricultural reforms implemented under Ilham Aliyev's leadership ensured the country's food security, resulting in Azerbaijan becoming one of the leading exporters of agricultural products to neighboring countries.
Another focus of Ilham Aliyev's economic policy is the reorientation of the economy away from oil and gas toward non-oil sectors, as well as increased production and import substitution of manufacturing and consumer goods. This policy has already proven to be a huge success, and it undoubtedly contributes to the independence of the country.
Ilham Aliyev also played an important role in the unification of the Turkic states. The unification of all independent states with a Turkic-speaking population into a new organization [Organization of Turkic States] was achieved in 2021 under his leadership as chairman of the Turkic Council.
By leading the Non-Aligned Movement in 2019, Aliyev restored its influence. He is the author of a number of international initiatives that actively promote the NAM. Furthermore, on his initiative, the UN General Assembly held a special session on combating the coronavirus pandemic and providing assistance to poor and developing countries, including the equitable distribution of vaccines.
Thus, the time has proven how correct the choice of the Azerbaijani people, who elected Ilham Aliyev as President, was in favor of the country's future progressive development aimed at creating a modern, strong Azerbaijan.
Four years after the country's last presidential elections, Azerbaijan, led by President Ilham Aliyev, can claim to have completed the most important and historic tasks.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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