Little Green Footballs

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Meanwhile, in Azerbaijan

Yet another ex-Soviet country may be on the verge of an [insert color here] revolution:

Azerbaijan is voting in parliamentary elections, seen as test of democracy in the oil-rich former Soviet republic.

The electoral body says everything has been done to ensure a free and fair vote, including the marking of voters' fingers to prevent fraud.

Or maybe not:
Opposition activists and international observers have complained that the government has been intimidating, arresting and harassing opponents.

Baku has said it will act to prevent a Ukraine-style revolution in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani officials refused entry to a group of Ukrainian political activists, ordering them to leave the country.

The Ukrainian embassy in Baku said 16 people had been detained at the airport and would be sent back to Kiev.

Some opposition leaders have said they will mount mass street protests - like those seen in Ukraine last year - in the event of a rigged poll.

Azerbaijan is a repressive, oil-rich, mostly Muslim but secular "republic." Just like Iraq used to be. In fact, it's not too much of a stretch to refer to Azeri strongman Ilham Aliyev as a sort of Saddam-lite.

But Azerbaijan, which shares borders with Iran and Russia, also happens to be one of Our Leader's key allies in his Global Thingie against Whatever.

So it'll be interesting to see what sort of coverage the inevitable post-election protests will receive in lizard-land.

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