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Azerbaijani Opposition Presidential Candidate Staying Abroad For Now

Rustam Ibragimbekov

Rustam Ibragimbekov

Oscar-winning screenwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov says he is staying away from Azerbaijan for now, despite being chosen by an opposition coalition last month as a presidential candidate to challenge President Ilham Aliyev in October.

The 74-year-old Ibragimbekov said he is not returning because of the threat of being arrested in Baku and the lengthy process of giving up his joint Russian citizenship in order to be an eligible candidate.

Ibragimbekov told AFP that members of Azerbaijan’s opposition National Council of Democratic Forces also have recommended that he stay abroad for now.

He said he plans to travel to Azerbaijan after he sorts out his affairs in Moscow.

Ibragimebekov made the remarks in an interview with the French news agency in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, where the National Council of Democratic Forces was meeting.