Azerbaijan's legislators on Monday December 2nd formally asked President Ilham Aliyev to dissolve parliament and call snap parliamentary elections, in a surprise move following the prime minister's resignation a month ago, AFP reports.
Members of the current parliament, which is dominated by the president’s Yeni Azerbaijan Party (YAP), backed the appeal urging its own dissolution by 99 votes to one.
The next parliamentary elections are not due until October, 2021, however, the president has the power to dissolve parliament and call an early election.
Major turmoil in the government over a month ago is behind the call.
According to the country’s’ constitution, early elections have to be held 60 days after the legislature is dissolved by a presidential decree.
According to Yeni Azerbaijan's Executive Secretary Ali Ahmedov, "Parliament's composition needs to be renewed as part of the reforms that are being carried out by President Aliyev.”
With most of the power concentrated in the hands of the president, parliament has a limited role in the country’s political system.
The president has ruled the oil-rich ex-Soviet state with an iron fist since he was first elected in 2003, after the death of his father, with policies that silence dissent and opposition media.
According to local media source Azer News, a meeting of the YAP’s Political Council, as well as a meeting with MPs representing the party in parliament, took place recently, and MPs representing the party were advised to speak with an initiative to dissolve parliament.
The Azerbaijani parliament consists of 125 MPs elected according to the majority system and the last parliamentary elections were held on November 1st, 2015.