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Azerbaijan Warns That Opposition Leader Faces Arrest

14 October 2005 -- Azeri authorities say there is a jail cell waiting for an opposition leader who has promised to return from self-imposed exile.

Azeri authorities accuse Democratic Party of Azerbaijan leader Rasul Quliyev of embezzlement. Quliyev says the charges are politically motivated.

He's been living in the United States for several years. Quliyev has said that he will return to Azerbaijan to run in next month's presidential election.

Azeri Prosecutor-General Zakir Qaralov today said that Quliyev will be immediately arrested and jailed in Baku if he returns home. Tensions are high in Azerbaijan ahead of the 6 November vote.

The opposition has been staging regular rallies and says the government is planning to rig the vote. Authorities have promised to put down any mass protests.


See also: Azerbaijan: Preelection Tensions Mount

Azerbaijan: Exiles’ Participation In Election Campaign Uncertain Despite Registration