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Azerbaijan's Ruling Party Wins Majority Of Seats In Parliament

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's election authorities say the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) has won a majority in parliamentary elections, cementing President Ilham Aliyev's grip on power through a vote that was boycotted by Europe's largest monitoring agency and all of Azerbaijan’s established opposition parties.

Central Election Commission (CEC) chief Mazahir Panahov said on November 2 that Aliyev's party took 69 seats in the country's 125-seat parliament, according to preliminary data.

Voter turnout at the November 1 polls was just under 56 percent.

All of Azerbaijan's established opposition parties boycotted the vote, though some individual opposition candidates ran for spots in parliament.

A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said it didn't report "any major or systemic violations" on election day. However, it reported what it called "minor ballot stuffing" in a "few polling stations."

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe refused to send monitors to the polls after Baku sought to limit their number.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the United States continues to have "concerns about the restrictive political environment in Azerbaijan" in the wake of the elections.

With reporting by Interfax and AFP
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