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Liveblog: Azerbaijan Votes For President

Voters went to the polls in Azerbaijan today. President Ilham Aliyev, who has kept a tight grip on power, is expected to easily win a third term.


President Ilham Aliyev casts his ballot at a polling station in Baku.

President Ilham Aliyev casts his ballot at a polling station in Baku.

23:10 9.10.2013
Final Update

-- Preliminary Central Election Commission figures put President Ilham Aliyev at about 85 percent and Camil Hasanli, the next closest candidate, at 5 percent.

-- PACE, the vote-monitoring group of the Council of Europe, announced earlier in the afternoon that its observers had not yet seen instances of fraud. A german observer mission called the elections "democratic." The opposition however, has condemned the vote, citing videos appearing online that seem to show fraud. One leader called it "the dirtiest election" in the history of post-independence Azerbaijan.

-- RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service has recorded several instances of "carousel voting," where voters are bused in groups from one polling station to another.

-- After the vote, Hasanli told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service: "We will continue to fight for the rights of our people. This government has no moral right to rule this country. The dictators who are assaulting the will of their nation must go. There is no other way."

-- Aliyev, who succeeded his father, Heydar, has been president since 2003. The country's constitution was changed in a referendum in 2009 to allow him to run for a third term.

-- For the first time, major opposition movements have united to form a single coalition. The group is supporting Camil Hasanli, a 61-year-old historian. While there are other candidates on the ballot, some openly support the current government and the opposition claims they are there only to present the appearance of open elections.

-- Rights activists have complained of a government clampdown in advance of elections. In September, Human Rights Watch reported a "dramatic deterioration of the government's record on freedom of expression, assembly, and association."

-- Glenn Kates
21:45 9.10.2013
Preliminary CEC results show Aliyev with 84.7 percent and Hasanli with 5.0 percent. Tallying is ongoing.
21:29 9.10.2013
Via Interfax, German election observers say the vote met democratic norms.

"The election process itself was organized at a high level and meets such standards as in Germany, for example," said Eduard Lintner, the head of the German observer team.

"All procedures stipulated by the law were observed during voting
at all the polling stations that we visited. Our team did not notice any
irregularities."

According to Interfax, the German mission has 36 people, including members of the European parliament and the German Bundestag.
20:23 9.10.2013

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