Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Observers say Azeri vote was unfair, lacked genuine competition

FILE PHOTO: Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2018 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo


BAKU (Reuters) - The presidential election in Azerbaijan lacked genuine competition and was held in an environment of curtailed rights and freedoms, international monitors said on Thursday.

Ilham Aliyev, who succeeded his father in 2003 as leader of the oil-producing former Soviet republic, won a fourth term on Wednesday with more than 86 percent of the vote at an election boycotted by opposition parties who accused him of authoritarian rule and suppressing political dissent.

"The early presidential election in Azerbaijan took place within a restrictive political environment and under laws that curtail fundamental rights and freedoms, which are prerequisites for genuine democratic elections," observers from the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) said in a statement.

It said that against this background and "in the absence of pluralism, including in the media, the election lacked genuine freedom."

"We have to consider that, in a political environment where democratic principles are compromised and the rule of law is not observed, fair and free elections are not possible," Viorel Riceard Badea, head of the delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said in a statement.

Monitors reported "widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, a lack of transparency, and numerous serious irregularities, including ballot box stuffing."

"More than half of the vote counts were assessed

negatively, largely due to deliberate falsifications and an obvious disregard for procedures," they said.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

Survey Swiss Abroad

Survey: Keyboard and Hand close-up

advent calendar

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters