Ilham Aliyev

Azerbaijan's leader calls snap presidential vote

Azerbaijan's president on Monday called a snap presidential election in the ex-Soviet nation.

Ilham Aliyev , who has ruled the oil-rich Caspian Sea nation since 2003, was to seek re-election in October, but his office announced that the president ordered an early election to be held on April 11.

Azerbaijan's constitution was amended at a referendum in 2016 to extend the presidential term from five to seven years. Aliyev's critics saw the referendum as effectively cementing a dynastic rule.

The 56-year old Aliyev, in office since succeeding his father, who died in 2003, has firmly allied the Shia Muslim nation with the West, helping secure its energy and...