Ilham Aliyev won a third term as president of the oil-producing ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan on Wednesday in an election the opposition said was marred by voting violations.
Aliyev's control over most levers of power and media outlets made his victory a foregone conclusion for many in the nation of 9 million, even though the fractious opposition united for the first time in a presidential poll behind a single candidate.
Election officials said a partial count gave Aliyev 85 percent of the vote in the Caspian Sea country he has dominated since he succeeded his long-ruling father a decade ago, presiding over an economic boom fuelled by oil and gas but tolerating little dissent.
Dozens of cars honking and carrying the flags of Azerbaijan and Aliyev's ruling party cruised down Oilman Avenue, a central Baku thoroughfare whose high-priced boutiques have come to symbolize the massive oil revenues enjoyed by the Azeri elite.
Source: Reuters. Read full article. (link)