The ruling party of Azeri President Ilham Alyev has won the country’s parliamentary elections, according to the latest results. With the counting almost complete the New Azerbaijan Party looks set to have an absolute majority in the 125 seat assembly.
The opposition Azadlyq bloc has wasted no time in condemning the vote as rigged. Leader Ali Kerimli claims his staff have been detained and intimidated by police, while others allegedly saw ballot boxes being stolen. He has promised what he calls a “peaceful struggle” to have the results overturned. Ajerbaijan, which includes the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh, is a former Soviet state at a strategic cross roads between Russia and Iran. It is an oil rich region where Western energy companies have invested heavily. Europe and the US are watching events closely, with this election seen as a key test of democracy.