Azerbaijani President Aliyev wins snap presidential election

Thu, 8 Feb 2024 9:03 GMT
lham Aliyev won a fifth term in the snap presidential elections, receiving over 93% of the votes on Wednesday, according to exit polls.
Azerbaijani President Aliyev wins snap presidential election

Aliyev secured 93.9% of the vote, U.S.-based Oracle Advisory Group's representative George Brinbaum told a news briefing in the capital Baku after voting concluded at 7 p.m. local time (1500GMT).

Aliyev's closest competitor, independent candidate Zahid Oruj, received a mere 1.8%.

Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission later declared that 4.97 million people participated in the election, which means a 76.73% voter turnout. About 6.5 million citizens were eligible to vote, including those based abroad.

The president and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva went to Karabakh to cast their ballots in the region's main city of Khankendi.

For the first time in Azerbaijan's post-Soviet history, 26 polling stations opened in Karabakh. The enclave has been largely deserted after its entire ethnic-Armenian population – more than 100,000 people – fled to Armenia after Baku's takeover.

At a polling station in central Baku, pensioner Shalalya Abbasova, 68, said she voted for Aliyev because he "did what seemed impossible – accomplished our dream, liberated the occupied territories."

Last month, Aliyev called the Karabakh victory "an epochal event unparallelled in Azerbaijan's history".

Supporters have praised Aliyev for turning a country once thought of as a Soviet backwater into a flourishing energy supplier to Europe.

Aliyev, 62, was first elected president in 2003 after the death of his father Heydar Aliyev, a former KGB officer who had ruled Azerbaijan since 1993.

He was re-elected in 2008, 2013 and in 2018, with 86% of the votes.

In 2009, Aliyev amended the country's constitution so he could run for an unlimited number of presidential terms, a move criticized by rights advocates who say he could become president for life.

In 2016, Azerbaijan adopted constitutional amendments that extended the president's term in office to seven years from five.

The president appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyeva as the first vice president.

Around six million voters are registered for the election being monitored by observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Turkish president congratulates Azerbaijani counterpart on his victory

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had a telephone conversation with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and congratulated him for his victory in the Presidential election.

During the meeting, Erdogan expressed his hope on Wednesday that Aliyev's reelection as President would be beneficial for Azerbaijan.


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