Voter casts its ballot, Baku, April 1, 2018. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot.

11 April 2018, 21:43

Ruling party announces Aliev's victory against artificially inflated voter turnout

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), the overall voter turnout at the early presidential election in Azerbaijan made 74.5%, but the analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" treat this figure as highly overstated. Still, according to exit polls, the incumbent Ilham Aliev has won from 82.7% to 86.5% of the votes.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the early presidential election in Azerbaijan took place on April 11. Eight candidates ran for the post, including the incumbent Ilham Aliev.

The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), the "Musavat" and "Umid" Parties refused to take part in the early election, while the movements "Republican Alternative" (ReAl) and "Nida" warned they would not recognize the results of the voting.

The voting was over at 7:00 p.m. local time on April 11. The CEC announced that 3,959,553 voters took part in the election.

The groups engaged in exit polls announced their outcomes after the end of the voting. According to the Azerbaijani Centre named "Els", 82.71% of voters cast their ballots for Ilham Aliev. The "Independent Centre for Consulting and Promoting Civil Society" and the French organization "Opinion Way" summed up their exit polls and stated that 86.53% of voters supported Ilham Aliev. According to exit polls, the voter turnout was from 68% to 72%.

In the opinion of Bakhtiyar Gadjiev, the head of the Institute of Public Policy, the CEC's data on voter turnout is significantly overstated. He also noted that he does not trust the exit poll statistics.

According to his story, facts of the so-called "voluntary-mandatory" voting were widespread. "But even with this in mind, the voter turnout was not high," Mr Gadjiev has added.

Khikmet Gadjizade, the head of the Far Centre for Political and Economic Studies, has also doubted the truthfulness of the CEC's data on voter turnout.

"With such a dull election campaign, when the incumbent president had deliberately weak rivals; with the current population's apathy, there could no increased interest in voting among the society," Mr Gadjizade told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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