BAKU -- Azerbaijan's ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) has decided to initiate the dissolution of parliament and ask President Ilham Aliyev, the leader of the party, to call snap general polls.
Speaking at a press conference in Baku on November 28, YAP Executive Secretary Ali Akhmedov said the move aimed to support Aliyev's policy on reforms and personnel changes.
The early vote would help modernize Azerbaijan's legislative branch and speed the course of economic reforms, Akhmedov said after a meeting of the party's Political Council.
The YAP members "have come to the conclusion that reforms led by President Ilham Aliyev should not be left out of the legislative sphere," he said.
The Azerbaijani president has the right to dissolve parliament and call early elections. The vote needs to take place within three months after the dissolution.
The issue of parliament's dissolution is expected to be brought up at a session of the legislature on November 29. Azerbaijan was to hold the next parliamentary elections in November 2020.
The YAP party claimed a landslide victory in the 2015 elections that were boycotted by all of Azerbaijan's established opposition parties.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) refused to send monitors to the polls after Baku sought to limit their number to a core team of 131 long- and short-term observers.
Aliyev has ruled the energy-rich South Caucasus country of nearly 10 million people since shortly before his father's death in 2003.
Despite its vast energy resources, the country has seen difficult economic conditions in recent years. Citizens have been hard-hit by rising inflation, unemployment, and the cost of staple goods.
Amid economic difficulties, Aliyev last month appointed former presidential aide Ali Asadov as the new prime minister.