Aliyev wins presidential elections in Azerbaijan

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Moscow, Oct 16 (UNI) Incumbent Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has received 89.04 per cent of the vote in the presidential elections, with about 70 per cent of the ballot counted, RIA Novosti news agency reported today, quoting Azerbaijan's election commission.

None of the six opposition candidates have received more than three per cent of the vote. The six main opposition parties boycotted the polls, citing a clampdown on dissent, media restrictions, and electoral fraud.

With around 4.8 million people registered to vote, the turnout in the yesterday's presidential elections was 75.65 per cent.

The CIS observer mission recognised the elections as ''legitimate, open and transparent,'' mission head Sergei Lebedev said.

''The CIS observer mission believes that the elections were, firstly, held in compliance with Azerbaijan's election laws.

Secondly, they were legitimate, open and transparent, and thirdly, we think the elections will contribute to the further democratisation of Azerbaijan,'' Mr Lebedev said.

The monitoring mission by the CIS included 394 people, including 23 long-term monitors, who attended voting at 70 per cent of polls across the country.

A group of 40 US observers comprising journalists, congressmen and political analysts also described the polls as 'free and just.' The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which dispatched 480 observers to the polls, earlier criticised the election campaign, pointing to a ban on opposition meetings and other irregularities.

Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Vasily Istratov today said he was satisfied with what he described as 'obvious' results of the elections, and the way they were organised.


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