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Current Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev won 85 percent of the vote on Wednesday, in an election many believe was rigged and wrought with all kinds of fraud. His opponents on Thursday said they would challenge the results of the election in court.
According to the Associated Press, the Central Election Commission released election results on Tuesday — before any voting had actually taken place - which stated that Aliyev had won 73 percent of the vote. On Thursday, the commission apologized, saying that they had simply been running a test at a polling station for their smartphone app.
Nonetheless, Aliyev, whose family has been in power in Azerbaijan for four decades, won his third five-year term with a sweeping 85 percent of the vote, while his main opponent, Jamil Hasanli, just barely won 6 percent. Hasanli called for a new election, stating that, “Ilham Aliyev has no right to represent the Azerbaijani people. This election doesn't reflect the people's will.”
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has also expressed concerns. In a statement released today, the organization found that the election “was undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly and association that did not guarantee a level playing field for candidates.”
While the OSCE was pleased with the organization of the election, and the high number of candidates, they found they were problems in all stages of the election day process.
One of the most significant problems was the lack of access to media to candidates other than Aliyev. Aliyev dominated election coverage, and increased pressure on journalists discouraged them from providing publicity for the nine other candidates running for office.
image: Harald Dettenborn/Wikimedia Commons.