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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Putin and Zelenskyy congratulate Azerbaijan’s Aliyev for his election win after retaking Karabakh

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BAKU, Azerbaijan — The Ukrainian and Russian presidents congratulated Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev after his anticipated landslide win as preliminary outcomes launched Thursday indicated his resounding victory within the presidential election held the day earlier than.

Aliyev had known as an early vote simply months after his forces swiftly reclaimed the Karabakh area from ethnic Armenian separatists who had managed it for 3 a long time. He’s now heading into one other, seven-year time period in workplace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin known as Aliyev and the 2 spoke about persevering with their “strategic partnerships,” based on the Azeri chief’s press service.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted his congratulations on X, previously often called Twitter, saying that he appreciated Azerbaijan’s humanitarian help to Ukraine and valued the “mutual assist for our states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

With simply over 93% of the ballots counted, Aliyev secured greater than 92% of the votes, the top of the Central Election Fee, Mazahir Panahov, stated early Thursday. His three foremost challengers trailed far behind and conceded the race, congratulating Aliyev, the Interfax Azerbaijan information company reported.

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Aliyev, 62, has been in energy for greater than 20 years, succeeding his father who was Azerbaijan’s Communist boss after which president for a decade when the nation grew to become unbiased after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Different leaders, together with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi, additionally provided congratulations.

Analysts instructed that Aliyev moved the election ahead to capitalize on his burst in reputation following September’s blitz in Karabakh. He might be within the limelight in November when Azerbaijan, a rustic which depends closely on revenues from fossil fuels, hosts a U.N. local weather change convention.

Election officers indicated turnout was robust, saying that over 76% of eligible voters solid ballots through the 11-hour voting. Even earlier than the preliminary outcomes have been introduced, a number of hundred individuals carrying Azerbaijani flags gathered in Baku to bounce and sing in celebration.

Aliyev has declared that he needed the election to “mark the start of a brand new period,” through which Azerbaijan has full management over its territory. He and his household solid their ballots in Khankendi, a metropolis that was known as Stepanakert by Armenians when it housed the headquarters of the self-declared separatist authorities.

The area, which had been recognized internationally as Nagorno-Karabakh, and enormous swathes of surrounding territory got here underneath full management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia on the finish of a separatist warfare in 1994.

Azerbaijan regained components of Karabakh and a lot of the surrounding territory in 2020 in a six-week warfare, which ended with a Moscow-brokered truce. In December 2022, Azerbaijan began blockading the street linking the area with Armenia, inflicting meals and gasoline shortages, after which launched a September blitz that routed separatist forces in simply someday and compelled them to put down arms.

Greater than 100,000 ethnic Armenians fled the area after the defeat of separatist forces, leaving it almost abandoned.

When he visited the town in November, Aliyev stated in a speech at a army parade marking the victory that “we confirmed the entire world the power, willpower and indomitable spirit of the Azerbaijani individuals.”

In Fuzuli, the Azerbaijani metropolis close to Karabakh that was managed by Armenian forces till 2020, 73-year-old Raya Feyziyeva, stated on election day that she was “feeling nice” and was grateful to Aliyev for reclaiming her hometown. She stated she was pressured to depart Fuzuli after its takeover by Armenian forces and the expulsion of its ethnic Azerbaijani inhabitants in 1993.

“I really feel calm understanding that I might be buried in my homeland,” she stated.

Within the village of Agali within the Zangilan area, one other space close to Karabakh that was reclaimed from Armenian forces, turnout was equally robust. Mubariz Farhadov, who’s accountable for the native polling station arrange in a newly constructed faculty, stated he was stuffed with pleasure to witness a “historic second” when “elections are held in our homeland for the primary time in 30 years.”

There isn’t any restrict on the variety of phrases Aliyev can serve, and the six different candidates represented no actual problem. A few of them have beforehand publicly praised Aliyev.

Aliyev’s time in energy has been marked by the introduction of more and more strict legal guidelines that curb political debate in addition to arrests of opposition figures and unbiased journalists — together with within the run-up to the presidential election.

Azerbaijan’s two foremost opposition events — Musavat and the Folks’s Entrance of Azerbaijan — didn’t participate within the vote, and a few opposition members alleged it might have been rigged.

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