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Azerbajdzjans Ilham Aliyev hävdar valseger

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Azerbaijan’s leader Ilham Aliyev has claimed victory in presidential polls, thanking the Azeri people for electing him to a third term. With about three-quarters of the votes counted Aliyev had won nearly 85%, the national election commission said. The president called the election a “triumph of democracy”, but opposition groups alleged widespread fraud.  Aliyev inherited the presidency from his father in 2003. He has stifled dissent and scrapped term limits. So confident was he of victory on Wednesday, he did not run a campaign.  

“Azerbaijan will continue successfully to develop as a democratic country,” Aliyev said in a pre-recorded TV address. “The fact that this election was free and transparent is another serious step towards democracy.”

Människorättsgrupper säger att regeringen inför valet inledde ett aldrig tidigare skådat tillslag mot sina kritiker. Men politisk opposition i landet med nio miljoner har också avtrubbats av välstånd, med oljerikedomar som mer än tredubblar bruttonationalprodukten.

With 75% of the votes counted, the share for the main opposition candidate, Jamil Hasanli, stood at just 5.2%, the election commission said. Hasanli, a 61-year-old history professor, represents a coalition of parties. He told reporters earlier in the day that his campaign had witnessed “cases of ballot stuffing at a number of polling stations”.

“Regrettably, many government officials are involved in falsification, becoming accomplices of a grave crime,” he was quoted as saying.

Opposition activists circulated photos and videos appearing to show individuals casting multiple ballots – though these could not be verified.

Annons

Andra utmanare var fem parlamentsledamöter och två lågprofilerade oppositionella. Kritiker säger att en del är i maskopi med regeringen och bara i kapplöpningen för att späda på oppositionens röst.

Aliyev, som åtnjuter enorm makt efter att ha ärvt presidentposten från sin far 2003, avskaffade en två mandatperioder som president i en kontroversiell folkomröstning 2009.

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