Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections occurred in a complex set of international and domestic circumstances. On a regional level, their timing followed the series of colored revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. Flawed elections catalyzed peaceful and orderly popular uprisings in the Georgian and Ukrainian cases that brought regime change, and a coup d'état that led to the ouster of the government in Kyrgyzstan. All three led to the demise of unpopular and corrupt regimes. They also occurred at a time when Azerbaijan's strategic value to the West has increased, due to (1) its significant oil resources scheduled to come online by the end of 2005 through a major new pipeline to Turkey; (2) its role in the international anti-terrorist coalition, forming the West's strategic access route to Central Asia and Afghanistan; and (3) its symbolic role as a moderate, secular, and potentially democratic Muslim nation.