02:52 GMT +318 February 2018
Listen Live
    World

    Azerbaijan's leader prepares for reelection in Wednesday polls

    World
    Get short URL
    0 0 0

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is set to win a landslide victory in Wednesday's presidential election, which has been boycotted by the main opposition parties over election fraud allegations.

    MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is set to win a landslide victory in Wednesday's presidential election, which has been boycotted by the main opposition parties over election fraud allegations.

    The six main opposition parties said they would boycott the polls citing a clampdown on dissent, media restrictions and electoral fraud. The six candidates running against Aliyev are not serious political rivals to the incumbent leader.

    Unlike the 2003 presidential and 2005 parliamentary elections, which saw violent clashes with police after the opposition refused to accept the results and staged mass protests, Wednesday's vote is expected to pass calmly.

    Azerbaijan's top election official said on Tuesday that the situation is stable in the country ahead of the elections.

    "A stable situation has been ensured in Azerbaijan," Mazair Panakhov said, adding that "democratic elections are not measured by fistfights."

    Per capita incomes have been on the rise on the back of booming energy prices in the oil-rich ex-Soviet state since Aliyev took office in 2003 replacing his father, the late Heydar Aliyev. The country is also witnessing a construction boom and brisk economic growth.

    The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has dispatched 480 observers to the polls, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has sent 30 monitors.

    The OSCE reported numerous irregularities at Aliyev's previous elections, after which journalists were persecuted for critical articles about him and the government. Under pressure from the European bodies, Aliyev released many prominent opposition members from prison during his first term.

    The United States and other Western powers have, however, avoided straining ties with Azerbaijan, to which they look to diversify pipeline routes, bypassing Russia and reducing their dependence on Russian energy supplies.

    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment