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Aliyev Wins Third Term, but International Observes Call Election Unfair

On October 9, 2013, presidential elections were held. Incumbent Ilham Aliyev won a third five-year term, taking 84.6 percent of the vote. Jamil Hasanli, a historian and professor, was a distant second with 5.4 percent. In an interview with The New York Times , Hasanli said his chances were hindered by how quickly the election was held, not having enough funds, the state-controlled media and the lack of international interest.

International observers did become involved after the election. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) called the presidential election unfair and said that they had evidence proving voting irregularities such as ballot-box stuffing. The OSCE released a report on October 10, 2013, that said the election was “undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly and association that did not guarantee a level playing field for candidates. Continued allegations of candidate and voter intimidation and a restrictive media environment marred the campaign. Significant problems were observed throughout all stages of Election Day processes and underscored the serious nature of the shortcomings.” However, Aliyev's government denied the accusations.

See also Encyclopedia: Azerbaijan .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Azerbaijan
State Statistical Committee

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