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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Contradictory news from Azerbaijan #2

US cites 'major irregularities and fraud' in Azerbaijan vote

AFP 07/11/2005 23:39 WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (AFP) - The United States on Monday sharply criticized the parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, saying they were marked by "major irregularities and fraud" requiring investigation. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli reported "some improvements" in Sunday's balloting, which Azerbaijan officials said produced an absolute majority for the ruling party of President Ilham Aliyev. "But at the same time there were major irregularities and fraud that are of serious concern," Ereli told reporters at the State Department briefing. "We will urge the government of Azerbaijan to take immediate investigations into these irregularities and fraud, consistent with Azerbaijan's laws, institutions and election legislation," Ereli said.

Azeri poll 'totally' reflects people's will: president

AFP 08/11/2005 02:04 BAKU, Nov 7 (AFP) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Monday hailed weekend parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic officially won by his Yeni (New) Azerbaijan party. "The elections were held in a free and democratic atmosphere," Aliyev said in an interview on state television. "The results of the election reflect totally the will of the people," Aliyev said. The ex-Soviet republic's election commission earlier said that Yeni Azerbaijan had won 63 out of the 125 seats in Azerbaijan's national assembly. A number of nominally independent candidates who won seats were also thought likely to support the government. Western observers led by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised the poll, however, saying it "did not meet international standards despite some improvements."

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