«Early presidential elections took place in the Republic of Azerbaijan on 7 February. These were the first elections held across the entire territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev was re-elected for his fifth term in office.
The European Union takes note of the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission. According to the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the elections took place within a restrictive political environment and under laws that curtail fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of assembly, expression and media.
While the preparations for the elections were efficiently managed, the stifling of critical voices and the absence of political alternatives marked the electoral process. The election day was calm and overall orderly, but the observers reported widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, a lack of transparency and numerous serious irregularities.
The European Union reiterates its expectations that the Azerbaijani authorities will take on board and implement the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in relation to these and previous elections. The EU remains