2003 Azerbaijani presidential election

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2003 Azerbaijani presidential election

← 1998 15 October 2003 2008 →
Nominee Ilham Aliyev Isa Gambar
Party YAP Musavat
Popular vote 1,860,346 372,385
Percentage 75.38% 15.09%

Results by constituency
  Ilham Aliyev

President before election

Heydar Aliyev

Elected President

Ilham Aliyev

Presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan on 15 October 2003. As expected, Ilham Aliyev, son of the outgoing president, Heydar Aliyev, was officially elected with an overwhelming majority in an election which international observers held not to be free or fair.[1][2]


Human Rights Watch stated that the "election campaign... from the beginning was heavily manipulated by the government to favor Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev, son of President Heydar Aliyev. The government ensured that election commissions would be stacked to favor Aliyev, and banned nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from monitoring the vote. As the election drew nearer, government officials openly sided with Ilham Aliyev, obstructed opposition rallies, and sought to limit participation in them. Police have beaten and arbitrarily detained hundreds of opposition activists, including a 73-year-old woman."[1]

The Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe provided 188 election observers. The mission, requested by the United States government, formed part of a larger group of observers monitoring under the auspices of the OSCE. The IDEE observers observed more than 1,000 voting precincts and Constituency Election Centers where votes were tabulated, and collectively issued a "Votum Separatum," which expressed their outrage at election fraud, intimidation and political repression they witnessed during their observation mission and their disagreement with the OSCE's mild preliminary report calling the elections "generally well administered."[2]


Ilham AliyevNew Azerbaijan Party1,860,34675.38
Isa GambarMusavat372,38515.09
Lala ShevketNational Unity100,5584.07
Etibar MammadovAzerbaijan National Independence Party62,4012.53
İlyas İsmayılovJustice Party24,9261.01
Sabir RustamkhanliCivic Solidarity Party23,7300.96
Qüdrat HasanquliyevAzerbaijani Popular Front Party13,6240.55
Hafiz HajiyevModern Equality Party9,9900.40
Valid votes2,467,96088.39
Invalid/blank votes324,03711.61
Total votes2,791,997100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,442,33862.85
Source: IFES


  1. ^ a b "Azerbaijan: Presidential Elections 2003 – Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. 2003-10-13. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-09-23. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  2. ^ a b "The Azerbaijan 'Elections' – October 15, 2003". Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe. 2020-10-21. Archived from the original on 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2020-10-21.

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