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Opposition Prepares To Hold Rally In Azerbaijan

(RFE/RL) 9 November 2005 -- An opposition rally is planned today in the Azerbaijani capital Baku to protest the country's recent parliamentary elections, which the opposition says was rigged.

Preliminary results from the 6 November elections show the party of President Ilham Aliyev winning most of the 125 seats in parliament.

Monitors from the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the elections did not meet international standards, findings backed by the EU and the U.S.

Aliyev has acknowledged some problems on voting day, but said the overall result was fair. He has been backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who telephoned Aliyev on Tuesday to congratulate him on the results.

However, election officials have ordered repeat elections in two constituencies where Aliyev loyalists beat opposition candidates.

Electoral officials yesterday also announced they are looking into other reports of fraud.

(dpa/AP/Reuters/RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service)

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