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Azerbaijan's Ruling Party Stripped Of Three Parliamentary Seats

10 November 2005 -- Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission (MSK) has released an updated tally of the disputed national legislative elections .

The latest results of the 6 November poll follow the MSK's decision to annul the vote in two constituencies and a number of polling stations elsewhere. They show that the ruling Yeni Azerbaycan (New Azerbaijan) party has won 60 seats in the 125-member national assembly. Previous results had given Yeni Azerbaycan 63 seats.

The opposition Azadliq coalition has won eight seats. Azadliq claims there was massive fraud during the vote, and is demanding that new elections be held.

The Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have criticized the vote, saying it failed to meet international election standards.

President Ilham Aliyev yesterday fired two local administration heads for allegedly interfering in the vote-counting process.

The Prosecutor-General's Office has also brought criminal charges against several junior election officials accused of falsifying the vote.

(Turan/"525-ci Qazet")