Preliminary Results: Ilham Aliyev Wins 86% of Votes In Presidential Election

Preliminary Results: Ilham Aliyev Wins 86% of Votes In Presidential Election

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko phoned Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the press service of the Azerbaijani president said in a statement.

Voters in the oil-rich Caspian Sea nation of Azerbaijan cast ballots Wednesday in an early presidential election that is all but certain to extend the rule of the country's long-serving leader by another seven years.

The election commission said it had received no complaints about irregularities.

The Yeni Azerbaycan Party, together with the Automobile Federation of Azerbaijan, didn't wait for the final results of the elections: they organised a street vehicle race in downtown Baku in order to celebrate Aliyev's victory.

Aliyev will continue his presidency with an extended fourth term until 2025.

Cementing his family's decades-long grip on power, the president past year appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyeva as first vice president.

Aliyev brought forward the date of the vote to April 11 from October 17, a move his allies said was necessary to avoid presidential and parliamentary elections clashing in 2025.

Apart from the incumbent president, seven candidates ran in the poll - all low-profile figures who barely carried out any campaigning. In a televised speech, Aliyev praised himself for his accomplishments in office. "We have had a decent path, a path of triumphs and success".

The head of state hailed the close cooperation between Azerbaijan and the SCO during the meeting with a delegation led by SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov in Baku. "Towards new triumphs!" he concluded. "Rather than undertake long-needed governmental or economic reforms, the ruling elite responded to a persistently weak economy by further suppressing government critics, fighting behind-the-scenes battles over shrinking state resources, and emptying state coffers on global lobbying efforts".

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