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Azerbaijan’s Opposition Candidate Calls for New Election

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Azerbaijan’s main opposition candidate Jamil Hasanli has called for the results of Wednesday's presidential election in the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic to be cancelled over alleged voting violations.

BAKU, October 12 (RIA Novosti) – Azerbaijan’s main opposition candidate Jamil Hasanli has called for the results of Wednesday's presidential election in the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic to be cancelled over alleged voting violations.

The October 9 election handed President Ilham Aliyev a third consecutive five-year term at the helm of an oil-rich former Soviet republic his family has run for decades. Official results showed Aliyev had won a resounding victory with more than 85 percent of the vote, while his main opponent Hasanly received just over five percent. Eight other candidates gained less than 2.5 percent of the vote.

European observers and the United States said the election fell short of “international standards.”

Hasanly, 61, a candidate from the National Council of Democratic Forces and prominent academic, told his supporters at a rally in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku Saturday that the results from 2,500 ballot stations show that “the election has been totally falsified in favor of the candidate of the ruling party [Aliyev].”

Hasanly's campaign headquarters said in a statement Wednesday that there was wide scale voting fraud during the elections, including attempts to expel election observers from polling stations, ballot-stuffing and multiple voting by individuals.

He put the voter turnout at 20 percent, adding that some 65 or 70 percent of the voters cast their ballots in his favor. The country’s election commission said the turnout was 73 percent.

“We will continue our fight. I will soon go to Brussels, Strasbourg and the United States to discuss the election,” Hasanly said.

 

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