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

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Aliyev said Azerbaijan is interested in strengthening ties with the SCO and participating in a number of projects implemented by the organization.

With Ilham Aliyev winning a fourth term as Azerbaijan's president, what next for a country trying to strike a balance between its former Soviet master Russian Federation and the West?

Monitors reported "widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, a lack of transparency, and numerous serious irregularities, including ballot box stuffing", in Wednesday's election, adding: "in the absence of pluralism, including in the media, the election lacked genuine freedom". "A free, open and transparent environment has been created in Azerbaijan for the presidential elections", foreign ministry spokesman, Hikmet Hajiyev, told AFP. 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.

The opposition "National Council of Democratic Forces", Musavat Party and Azerbaijani Popular Front Party boycotted the elections.

Regular elections were supposed to be held in Azerbaijan in October 2018.

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A former KGB officer and communist-era leader, Aliyev senior had ruled Azerbaijan with an iron fist since 1993.

Opposition parties called the vote a "show".

Seven candidates ran, but critics questioned whether they were actual opponents.

Supporters have praised the Aliyevs for turning a republic once thought of as an ex-Soviet backwater into a flourishing energy supplier to Europe. "At the same time, the authorities were co-operative and global observers were able to operate freely in the pre-election period, and the election administration was well resourced and prepared the election efficiently", the statement said.

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