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Azerbaijan's Parliament Approves Proposal To Dissolve, Setting Path For Snap Polls

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's National Assembly, dominated by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), has approved a proposal to dissolve parliament and ask President Ilham Aliyev, the leader of the party, to call snap general polls.

As expected, the legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal aimed to support Aliyev's policy on reforms and personnel changes, with 99 deputies in favor, one against, and one abstention.

Officials have said an early vote would help modernize Azerbaijan's legislative branch and speed the course of economic reforms.

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 YAP party claimed a landslide victory in the 2015 elections that were boycotted by all of Azerbaijan's established opposition parties.

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 in October appointed former presidential aide Ali Asadov as the new prime minister.

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