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Azerbaijan: Election Commission Says Ilham Aliyev Wins Presidency By Landslide


Baku, 16 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission says Ilham Aliyev has won a landslide victory in presidential elections to succeed his ailing father, current President Heidar Aliev. With 91 percent of the ballots counted in yesterday's vote, Aliyev had 79.5 percent of the vote, according to the commission. His nearest rival, Musavat Party leader Isa Gambar, had 12 percent.

Aliyev led a field of eight candidates, representing the ruling Yeni Azerbaycan Party after his father, who is hospitalized in the United States, withdrew from the race two weeks ago.

Opposition leaders are refusing to accept the results, alleging widespread electoral fraud. Numerous violations have also been cited by observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Human Rights Watch today condemned the police beating of opposition forces last night in Baku, who rallied to protest the vote.

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