Ilham Aliyev: Presidential election reflected Azerbaijani people’s will (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 14:00)
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18
The presidential election has reflected the will of the Azerbaijani people, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev during his inauguration ceremony on April 18.
“Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! First of all, I would like to once again express deep gratitude to the Azerbaijani people for showing high confidence in me in this election. I have always felt and feel the support of the Azerbaijani people. This support gives me strength. I rely on this support, and I want to once again assure the people that I will continue to serve to the people, to the Motherland with dignity,” said the head of state.
"The presidential election has reflected the will of the Azerbaijani people. The Azerbaijani people appreciated the work done, voted for the work done, for development, progress, security and our future development,” said the president.
The head of state noted that the election was held fairly and transparently.
The polls conducted by local and international organizations before the election and the exit-polls carried out by international and local organizations on the election day coincide with the official results of the election, said President Aliyev.
“This once again shows that the election reflects our people’s will, their opinion,” added the head of state.
“On the eve of the 2003 presidential election, I addressed the people saying that if the people express confidence in me, I will stay devoted to the policy of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev and will continue this policy. I am proud that the people believed in me, supported me, and I, for my part, kept my words,” said President Aliyev.
The head of state pointed out that comprehensive development has been ensured in Azerbaijan over the last 15 years.
“The main condition of this is that we follow the path of the national leader. The path established by him is the only right path. Azerbaijan’s history of independence is the evident proof of that. By following this path, we have made great strides over the last 15 years. Azerbaijani people have lived in security and stability,” said the head of state.
“During these 15 years, very dangerous processes have been taking place in different regions of the world, in our region, in Europe: bloody clashes, wars, civil wars, coups,” Ilham Aliyev said. “In Azerbaijan, however, the people have lived in security. We eliminated all internal risks, we protected ourselves from external risks, we continue to protect ourselves today, and, I am confident, we will continue to do so. These 15 years, the Azerbaijani people have lived in stability, and this is the main condition for our development. We see that when there is no stability, there can be no development. When there is no stability, external intervention occurs, countries become uncontrollable, fraternal blood is shed, and the future of countries is put under question.”
“In Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani people and our policy are the guarantors of stability,” he noted. “Therefore, the unity of power and the people is the main condition for our success. Today, Azerbaijan is known in the world as an island of stability, and this is our great achievement.”
Democratic development in Azerbaijan has been very rapid over the last 15 years, Ilham Aliyev said.
“All freedoms have been ensured in Azerbaijan and I believe that these 15 years have been very successful in terms of democratic development,” said the head of state.
“We have ensured all freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, freedom of political activity – by deepening political reforms. It is sufficient to note that today 80 percent of Azerbaijani citizens are internet users and there is a freedom of internet in Azerbaijan. That’s to say, we have a very right policy on democratic development and it meets our national interests. We do it not to make someone like us, but to even more deepen political reforms in Azerbaijan, to ensure that Azerbaijani people have their fate in their own hands, as it is today. The election and its results prove this once again,” said the head of state.
“I can say that positive tendencies in the culture of political struggle have been observed for the last 15 years in Azerbaijan, and the presidential election campaign shows this once again,” he noted. “Rather harsh criticism sounded in the speeches of candidates. I welcome this and regard this as a positive phenomenon. This shows that political struggle is taking place in the right direction. I should note that the issues raised by candidates during the presidential election campaigns will be carefully considered and valuable proposals will be taken into account. In a word, over these 15 years we have tried that civilized political struggle is ensured in Azerbaijan, and to a large extent we have achieved it. By using this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to all the candidates who took part in the election and I wish them success in their future activities. As for anti-national groups, they were completely marginalized, and this election once again showed that there is no place in the political arena of Azerbaijan for such groups.”
The Azerbaijani people have long ago determined the anti-national groups' place - it is the history's dump, said Ilham Aliyev.
“The Azerbaijani people gave a decent response to the elements which were, in many cases, demonstrating national treachery, opposing the state, carrying out activities with help of foreign grants and donations. The meetings organized by them before and after the election once again showed that the Azerbaijani people will never allow a group controlled from abroad to take any position in Azerbaijan. We will continue to multiply our efforts for democratic development, and this will take an important place in the future activity.”