Azerbaijan Opposition Rallies Against Election Results
14 10 2013, 04:12
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Opposition activists held a demonstration at a stadium in Azerbaijan’s capital to rally against the landslide election victory of President Ilham Aliyev earlier this week.
The demonstration, held at a stadium in the Yasamal district of Baku on October 12, was called by the opposition National Council of Democratic Forces, and sanctioned by authorities.
Police say there were 1,500 participants, while organizers put the number at 15,000.
Police briefly detained about 10 activists at the end of the rally who were shouting antigovernment slogans outside the stadium.
In his address to his supporters, the National Council’s candidate in the October 9 presidential election, Camil Hasanli, called for the cancellation of the election results.
"What happened was an incident without any fairness, laws, or morality," Hasanli said. "The voting right of the people was stolen. Their right to make their own government was taken away from them and power was seized."
Hasanli said he will travel to the United States and Europe in the coming days to make his case.
The National Council, he added, will continue its struggle by all political and legal means.
According to official results of the October 9 voting, Aliyev was reelected to a third five-year term with nearly 85 percent of the votes.
The candidate of the united opposition, Camil Hasanli, won around 5 percent.
OSCE observers condemned the polls as "seriously flawed," saying they were marred by a "restrictive media environment" and allegations of intimidation. A spokesman for Aliyev's administration later said Baku would reconsider its relations with the OSCE because of its "biased" report.