Landslide Win For Azerbaijan President Aliyev, Adds to 15-year Tenure

Azerbaijan's Aliyev seeks to extend 15-year rule in election

"I have always felt support of the people of Azerbaijan".

The country's Central Election Commission said in a statement that Mr Aliyev received 86 per cent of the vote with 94 per cent of votes counted.

"Citizens of Azerbaijan have voted for security and progress", he said in a televised address.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held a telephone conversation with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to discuss the deepening of bilateral relations and the development of the trilateral format of cooperation between Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The National Council of Democratic Forces, an opposition group, claimed late Wednesday that only about 15 percent of the electorate voted, while Azerbaijan's elections commission reported the turnout at almost 75 percent.

But the OSCE said Thursday that its observers at the polls reported "widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, lack of transparency, and numerous serious irregularities".

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The polls also "lacked genuine competition", the global election and war monitor said, with opposition candidates refraining from challenging or criticising the incumbent.

The total of 125 regional polling centers were mobilized in the country to serve the people during the presidential election on Wednesday, according to Information Center of the CEC.

Opposition parties in the tightly controlled Caucasus nation have said the elections are a sham and accused the authorities of preparing to rig the vote.

The election that had been due in the autumn was moved up to April.

Polls have opened in an early presidential election in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

Aliyev, 56, was first elected in 2003, after the death of his father Heydar Aliyev. He appointed his wife Mehriban first vice president, the second most powerful post after the president, in 2017.

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