At a polling station on election day, Baku, April 11, 2018. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

12 April 2018, 21:27

Observers' report angers Azeri authorities

The Azerbaijani early presidential election was held under severe restrictions for the opposition and was accompanied by violations, the observers from the OSCE and the PACE have stated. In their turn, the Azeri Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the President's Administration have blamed these observers for their prejudgement.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that today, the head of the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission (CEC) has announced the preliminary voting totals, noting that there were no serious violations during the voting. According to the preliminary totals, after treating the data from all the polling stations, Ilham Aliev has won 86.3% of the votes, the CEC has stated today.

In Baku, the international observation mission, consisting of delegations from the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the OSCE, as well as the mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), has presented today their preliminary report on the election campaign in Azerbaijan.

The report criticizes the campaign. "The early presidential election in Azerbaijan was held against political and legislative restrictions imposed on fundamental rights and freedoms," says the statement posted on the ODIHR's website.

According to observers, on the voting day, they registered numerous serious violations, including ballot throw-in; and in most cases the vote tabulation was accompanied by falsifications and obvious disregard for the due procedures.

The Azerbaijani MFA has treated the report as unfair and biased.

The Presidential Administration has also criticized it. Novruz Mamedov, Ilham Aliev's aide on foreign policy, said that the observers had distributed "the pre-prepared material as a report" and thus "demonstrated their disrespect for the voters of the partner country, and their will and choice."

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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