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Azerbaijani Opposition Calls Off Planned Baku Rally

Police breaking up the 23 October rally (RFE/RL) 25 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijan's main opposition coalition has called off a planned protest rally in Baku later this week, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported.

The Trend news agency today quoted Ali Kerimli, the chairman of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan's reformist wing (AXCP), as saying the Azadliq (Freedom) coalition will instead ask the Baku city authorities' permission to hold a concert on 4 November -- two days before national parliamentary elections.

Kerimli also said that, starting from today, Azadliq will hold protest rallies in several regions.

Azadliq initially planned to stage a protest march in Baku on 30 October. However, city authorities had not given their go-ahead.

Police on 23 October violently dispersed an antigovernment demonstration in Baku.

Opposition leaders say several hundred people took part in the rally. But independent reports have put the number of protesters at just 200.

Azadliq is comprised of the AXCP, the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, and the Musavat party.

(RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service/Trend/ANS TV)

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