Mehriban Aliyeva, Azerbaijan’s First Lady and the head of the country’s Eurovision steering community, controls a lot of things. But she couldn’t control German TV presenter Anke Engelke during Eurovision’s live broadcast on May 26. Anke, who hosted Eurovision 2011 in Düsseldorf, used the voting segment to take a swipe at Azerbaijan’s government. “Tonight, nobody could vote for their own country, but it is good to be able to vote and to have a choice,” she said. “Good luck on your journey, Azerbaijan. Europe is watching you.”
It’s a loaded statement. President Ilham Aliyev, whose father was also president, abolished term limits via a widely disputed referendum in 2009. The Human Rights House Foundation described the country’s most recent elections in 2010 as a farce.
What do you think? Was it inappropriate of the German TV presenter to use Eurovision as a political platform? Should her comment be edited out of the DVD? Or do you think that she was brave and should be applauded for taking a stand? Let us know!