BAKU, (Reuters) – Opponents of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said yesterday they would go to court to challenge his election to a third term, rejecting the result of a vote that international monitors said was seriously flawed.
Aliyev, who succeeded his father a decade ago as leader of the oil-producing former Soviet republic, won a third five-year term with nearly 85 percent of the vote in Wednesday’s election.
Standing before a national flag on state television, he thanked Azeris for their support and said he would ensure security in the South Caucasus, where tensions still simmer with neighbouring Armenia over a disputed territory.
Opposition candidate Jamal Hasanly said he aimed to challenge the official result in the Constitutional Court, alleging violations including ballot stuffing and multiple voting. “This election was neither free or fair,” he said.
Aliyev, 51, has overseen an economic boom that has raised living standards in the Caspian Sea nation, which pumps oil and gas to Europe, bypassing Russia. He has allowed Washington to use it as a transit point for sending troops to Afghanistan.