Democracy Now (19 March 2009)

Azerbaijan votes on presidential term limits
Wed, 18 Mar 2009 19:31:16 GMT

President Ilham Aliyev succeeded his father as Azerbaijan president in 2003 Azerbaijanis go to the polls in a nationwide referendum to scrap a two-term presidential limit that could extend Ilham Aliyev's grip on power.

5,367 polling stations across the country of 8.7 million people opened at 8:00 am (0400 GMT) and were to close at 7:00 pm (1500 GMT).

"Voting is very active and what we are hearing gives us the impression that the majority of voters will support the changes to the constitution," said Mubariz Gurbanly, the deputy executive secretary of Aliyev's Yeni Azerbaijan party.

Why term limits? If something isn't broken, why fix it? As long as the people have the power to recall politicians whom they don't like or are easily able to vote in new ones, why should there be term limits? However, if the ruling class controls the media and can easily outspend the opposition in advertising during campaigns so that their people usually get elected, then term limits becomes a fail safe mechanism for them. If the people elect someone like Martin Luther King Jr. into office, then at the end of a certain period of time he or she would have to leave, even if the majority of the people still wished them to remain in office.

Perhaps Azerbaijan is following the example of Venezuela which also recently got rid of term limits. Perhaps this good example is why the immoral ruling class hate socialist states so much.