Online Broadband Guide
Online Broadband Guide

Azerbaijan strongman set to win poll boycotted by opposition

Azerbaijan strongman set to win poll boycotted by opposition

Opposition activists have condemned Aliyev's surprise - and unexplained - decision to hold the election six months ahead of schedule.

Earlier in the day at a polling station in the capital Baku, 38-year-old schoolteacher Elmira Balayeva said she had voted for Aliyev because he was the only candidate capable of steering the country towards economic wellbeing and political stability.

The 56-year-old Aliyev has ruled the South Caucasus country of almost 10 million people since shortly before his father's death in 2003. "He got 86.09 percent of votes", Mazahir Panahov, the Central Election Commission chairman told a news conference.

"All previous elections in Azerbaijan were falsified and held with blatant violations of the electoral law". Arrangements for the polling had been fine tuned days before the election by the Azeri Central Election Commission (CEC) responsible for holding of free fair and transparent election in accordance with the democratic norms.

Aliyev, 56, has led Azerbaijan since 2003.

Opposition parties say they are staying away from Wednesday's vote because of Aliyev's sustained crackdown on dissent during his rule and because they say the results will be rigged.

"Many ODIHR (OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) interlocutors said they do not expect the election to be genuinely competitive, claiming that those who stand against the incumbent in this election either do not present a political alternative or even actively support him", ODIHR said in a March 29 report.

He was re-elected in 2008 and 2013 in polls that were denounced by opposition parties as fraudulent.

In 2009, he amended the country's constitution so he could run for an unlimited number of presidential terms, in a move criticised by rights advocates.

The changes drew criticism from Council of Europe constitutional law experts as "severely upsetting the balance of powers" and giving the president "unprecedented" authority.

A total of eight candidates, including Aliyev, took part in the presidential race. Critics have long accused Aliyev, who will be serving his fourth term in power, of targeting critical voices over the years, by harassing them and their families, forcing them into exile, and jailing them on trumped-up charges.

The main opposition parties say the vote is illegal and are boycotting it.

The country's huge energy reserves and its strategic location along the Caspian Sea means it is viewed by Europe as an important alternative to Russian energy supplies.

"For decades, the Aliyevs have been appropriating Azerbaijan's national riches, they have amassed vast hidden wealth", Khadija Ismayilova, an anti-corruption campaigner, told AFP.

Seven other candidates are running in Wednesday's election, which will be observed by global monitors, including the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) but critics have expressed doubts about how genuine the other candidates are.

The country has about 5.3 million people out of a total population of 9.9 million registered voters.



editors' picks

April 11, 2018
Equal Pay Day points to 100-year wage gap for women's work
Robinson admits not every situation is the same, and hard negotiation tactics don't always guarantee you'll get what you ask for. As owner of the music venue Rambling House in Columbus, Jen Lynch said pay equality is an issue she cares very deeply about.

April 11, 2018
Uber to acquire bike-sharing company
Motivate, which operates a fleet of Ford GoBikes, has the exclusive right to operate a bike-sharing service in San Francisco . However, TechCrunch reported that an unnamed source valued the deal at "closer to $200 million".

April 10, 2018
Dana White Changes Tune About Conor McGregor's UFC Future
Authorities will not be seizing his passport and he will be allowed to travel back to Ireland upon his release. It appears McGregor's actions have finally caught up to him and UFC is no longer tolerating his behaviour.

April 10, 2018
'I made a statement' - Rice savours return to Chelsea
West Ham team: Hart, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Noble, Zabaleta, Kouyate, Masuaku, Arnautovic, Joao Mario, Fernandes. As the Austrian went to pull the trigger from an acute angle inside the box, Kante slid in to win the ball.

April 08, 2018
WWE Unveils the Full WrestleMania 34 Set
The New Day began using the word, "Booty" as their catchphrase, even introducing their own cereal brand called, "Booty-O's". Undertaker has had some classic matches at WrestleMania against the likes of Triple H , Shawn Michaels, Kane and CM Punk.

April 08, 2018
Man shot, killed by police in Brooklyn neighborhood
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference Thursday that the incident was "a tragedy by any measure". Officers responding to a report of someone breaking windows killed Clark on March 18 in his grandmother's backyard.

April 07, 2018
China vows to fight Trump's tariffs 'at any cost'
As trade war costs hit home increasingly as Trump escalates, there's a good chance he will make a concerted effort at negotiation. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters the US was "not in a trade war", adding, "China is the problem".

April 05, 2018
AUS vs SA: Mentally, we weren't quite there, says Tim Paine
The result also ranks as Australia's second-heaviest defeat by runs, and their heaviest in 90 years. In the 1st innings Australia scored 221 runs where Tim Paine scored 62 runs so far.

April 04, 2018
Facebook Messenger can now send HD videos and 360-degree photos
These videos will need to be already recorded to either your phone, an article on your news feed or from another message thread. We hope you make your conversations and connections on Messenger even more extraordinary with these new features!

April 04, 2018
Trump's Caravan Tweet Draws Attention To Mexico's Migrant Policies
Manuel Padilla, chief of the border patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector, one of the busiest crossing points on the U.S. Trump keeps "blackmailing, offending and denigrating Mexico and Mexicans", he wrote on Twitter on Monday.