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Azerbaijan Brings Charges Against Opposition Leader

(RFE/RL) 1 November 2005 -- Authorities have brought criminal charges against Natiq Efendiyev, a deputy chairman of the opposition Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (ADP).

Efendiyev's lawyer, Vuqar Xasayev, told the Turan news agency the charges include preparation of a coup attempt and mass unrest.

Xasayev says the charges are politically motivated.

Efendiyev is a former police chief in the northwestern city of Ganca. He was detained on 16 October. Several former cabinet ministers, government officials, business executives, and policemen have been arrested recently on accusations of plotting with exiled ADP leader Rasul Quliyev to overthrow the government.

Quliyev, who denies any links with the detainees, has been registered as a candidate in the 6 November legislative

He says he is planning to return to Baku within days. But authorities have threatened to arrest him as soon as he enters the country.

Quliyev is wanted in Azerbaijan on embezzlement charges, which he rejects.


Election Timeline

Election Timeline
Although voters go to the polls in Azerbaijan on November 6, 2005, the election has actually been going on for about two years now, as the authorities and the opposition have vied with one another for months in the courts, the media, and on the streets. Click here for an annotated timeline of RFE/RL's coverage of the entire runup to the November 6 legislative elections in Azerbaijan.