Political environment

Azerbaijan is a multiparty democracy and presidential republic with a separation of the executive and legislative bodies. It is among the region's most stable countries and has a good human rights record.

Azerbaijan has developed a fairly broad and diverse party political system, with close to 40 political parties. Most of these emerged from the basis of the umbrella pro-independence Popular Front Movement of 1988 to 1992. These parties range from ultra-nationalist to communist, but the political arena is dominated by a centre-right niche.

The current President of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev who was elected on 31 October 2003.

Azerbaijan's Parliament, the Milli Majlis, executes the legislative functions of the state. Within eleven years of independence, Azerbaijan has somewhat succeeded in developing a division of power between the three branches of government but the share of Parliament's power appears significantly lower than that of the executive power, especially in practice. The Parliament, elected for five years with an election in 2005, has 125 deputies elected from single mandate constituencies. The constitution allows only the President, the Constitutional Court, the MPs and the Nakhchivan Supreme Council the right to initiate legislation. The national age of suffrage is 18.

The legal system is based on the civil system. Azerbaijan has not accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

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