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Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 22:50 UK

Aliyev re-elected in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev votes at a polling station in Baku
Ilham Aliyev came to power in the 2003 election

Ilham Aliyev has won a second term as president of Azerbaijan with 89% of the vote, according to official results from 70% of the polling stations.

Six other candidates stood in the ballot which was boycotted by the main opposition parties in the oil-rich former Soviet republic.

Officials deny opposition claims that restrictions prevented them competing in a democratic campaign.

Mr Aliyev succeeded his late father Heydar in the 2003 election.

Some 400 observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe monitored the poll in the energy-rich country.

The turnout in the country of 8.5 million people appeared to be between 75 and 77%.

'Sham election'

At the beginning of the presidential campaign, Mr Aliyev ordered all of his portraits to be removed from public places and the only image which could be seen on election day was his electoral poster, the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie reports from Baku.

But posters with the images of the other six candidates were nowhere to be seen, our correspondent says. The six were not widely known and many people found it difficult to name them.

Isa Gambar, an opposition leader who came second in the 2003 presidential vote but boycotted this ballot, denounced the election as a farce.

"This is a just an imitation of an election by Ilham Aliyev's regime," he told AFP news agency.

"All of the real opposition parties and all the people who support real democracy in Azerbaijan are boycotting this election."




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