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Azerbaijani opposition takes to the streets

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Azerbaijani opposition takes to the streets

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An estimated 20,000 opposition supporters have taken to the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital. They are calling on President Ilham Aliyev to step down over claims his recent re-election was the result of electoral fraud. The demonstrators waved orange flags like those used by anti-government crowds during Urkaine’s 2004 revolution.

There was a strong police presence at the rally. “We demand the cancellation of the elections,” said opposition leader Ali Kerimli. “We will continue the legal process to appeal against the outcome of the elections. At the same time our meetings and rallies will continue until the government agrees to cancel the fraudulent results.” Last Sunday’s elections, which gave Aliyev’s party a huge majority, were criticised by foreign observers. Election officials bowed to pressure and ordered re-runs in two disputed constituencies. They also say they are looking at claims of serious fraud in two other districts.