The U.S. State Department on Thursday reacted to Azerbaijan’s presidential election, which saw incumbent Ilham Aliyev secure a fifth term with more than 90 percent of the vote, while observers from the OSCE have raised “serious questions” about election validity, TURAN’s Washington correspondent reports.
“We share the observations and concerns of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights monitoring mission that the presidential election occurred in a restrictive environment with a lack of genuine competition,” a State Department spokesperson told TURAN.
“Azerbaijan has expressed its commitment to fundamental freedoms and democratic processes in its constitution. We encourage Azerbaijan to implement these commitments and ODIHR’s previous and forthcoming recommendations,” a State Department spokesperson added.
The OSCE in a assessment concluded that the election was “not competitive” and “was held in a restrictive environment”, citing among other restriction, indications of ballot box stuffing, lack of safeguards against multiple voting, recent arrests of critical journalists which it said, “have hindered the media from operating freely”.