Azerbaijan's Aliyev wins fifth presidential term in ‘no-suspense’ election

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev secured a fifth consecutive term in elections on Wednesday, official results showed, an expected outcome after his country's historic victory over Armenian separatists last year.

Tallies showed that Aliyev won the election with 92 percent of the vote after nearly all electoral precincts declared results, in a ballot held during a crackdown on independent media and in the absence of any real opposition.

"The Azerbaijani people have elected Ilham Aliyev as the country's president," Central Election Commission chief Mazahir Panahov told a press conference.

Turnout was 67.7 percent, he added.

Aliyev was heralded at home after his troops recaptured in September the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenian separatists who had controlled it for decades.

But the oil-rich nation's main opposition parties boycotted the vote, which one opposition leader, Ali Kerimli of the Popular Front party, called an "imitation of democracy".

"There are no conditions in the country for the conduct of free and fair elections," he said.

The six other candidates who were running were little-known and had praised Aliyev as a great statesman and commander-in-chief since he announced the election in December, a year ahead of schedule.

Singing patriotic songs, several thousand Aliyev supporters gathered on Wednesday evening in the streets of central Baku to celebrate his re-election.

Some demonstrators held signs that read "Karabakh's liberator" and "We are proud of you!"


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