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EU Says Azerbaijan Elections Failed To Meet European Standards


8 November 2005 -- The European Union today said that Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections did not meet European democratic standards.

8 November 2005 -- The European Union today said that Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections did not meet European democratic standards.

The British Presidency of the EU released a statement saying that the 6 November elections "fell short of OSCE, Council of Europe, and other European standards."

The statement voices concern over allegations of "interference" by local authorities and problems with vote counting.

The EU Presidency urged Azerbaijani authorities to fully investigate the alleged irregularities. The criticism follows a similar expression of concern from the United States yesterday.

Azerbaijan's opposition rejects the vote results and demands a repeat.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, whose ruling party won the vote, has said the election was normal and democratic.

Azerbaijani election officials have annulled voting results in some districts and ordered the recounting of some ballots.

(RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service/Interfax/AFP/ITAR-TASS)
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