Opposition parties in Azerbaijan have claimed widespread systematic fraud as results showed parties supporting the president sweeping the board in yesterday’s election.
With nearly all the votes counted, the New Azerbaijan Party of President Ilham Aliyev increased its share of the 125-seat parliament to more than 70 seats. Loyal independent candidates took almost all the rest.
The leading opposition party, Musavat, failed to win a single seat, and a candidate from the Hope party may be the only genuine opposition member of the new parliament.
The crushing victory further consolidates Aliyev’s grip on Azerbaijan, which has strategic importance as an oil and gas exporter to the West, and as a transit route for American military operations in Afghanistan.
The ruling party insists the vote was free and fair; independent election monitors are due to give their assessment later today.