Tens of thousands have attended a rally in support of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The event organised by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party came a day after an opposition protest demanded Aliyev’s resignation.
Waving national flags and carrying huge pictures of Ilham and his father Heydar Aliyev, most of those who took part were government workers given the day off.The November 6 election was criticised by observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The vote delivered a huge parliamentary majority to President Aliyev. Twenty four hours earlier the opposition Freedom Party called for an annulment of all results saying the ballot was marred by massive violations. The Freedom Party has sought to follow the example of the huge protests that ushered opposition leaders into power after disputed votes in the former Sovietrepublics of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.