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Azerbaijani Opposition Calls For New Election

16 November 2005 -- Some 500 opposition candidates in Azerbaijan who failed to win seats in parliamentary elections earlier this month met in Baku today, rejecting official results from the poll and calling for a new vote.

According to official results, the ruling Yeni Azerbaycan (New Azerbaijan) party took about half of the seats in the 125-member National Assembly.

Panah Huseyn of the opposition Azadliq bloc, who lost in his bid for a seat in parliament, dismissed the official results, saying the final tally was fraudulent and the polls rigged.

"Participants of the meeting declared that they do not recognize the results of the 6 November parliamentary elections," Huseyn said. "They call these results be declared invalid and, for the sake of the law, they call for renewal of the parliamentary elections."

Another 200 people in the town of Nardaran, outside Baku, held a meeting to protest against what they said was a falsification of the results.

Western monitors also said the poll failed to meet international standards and was not free or fair.

(Interfax/RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)