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Bush, Democracy & Azerbaijan

9:57 AM, Oct 3, 2005 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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Philip Kennicott has a piece in the Washington Post on the upcoming parliamentary election in Azerbaijan scheduled for November 6. With neighboring Georgia to the east and Iran to the south, the election is a critical test of whether the Bush administration's democracy promotion can establish deeper roots in the region. Azerbaijan's last election in 2003 was widely viewed by international monitors as illegitimate with the Baku government engaged in a "pattern of intimidation against opposition supporters."

In July of 2003, the Bush administration sent former Secretary of State James Baker to Georgia prior to their parliamentary election to signal Washington's deep commitment to a free and fair vote. Will the administration put as high a priority on Azerbaijan's?