Azerbaijan’s Aliyev Wins 7-Year Term on Top of 15 Served

Azerbaijan’s longtime president, Ilham Aliyev, won a fourth term Wednesday in an election boycotted by the opposition.

Election officials said they expected Aliyev to finish with 86 percent of the vote.

“I am grateful to my people for voting for our achievements and success,” Aliyev said late Wednesday, as supporters drove cars and honked their horns in celebration through central Baku.

Election officials said they had received no complaints of fraud, although some in the opposition reported incidents of some voters casting multiple ballots.

European election monitors planned to issue their report Thursday.

Wednesday’s election was originally scheduled for October but was moved up to avoid clashing with several other high-profile events.

Aliyev was elected in 2003, taking over from his ailing father, Heydar Aliyev, who had been Azerbaijan’s president for 10 years.

Ilham Aliyev changed the constitution twice through referendums, allowing him to cement his power.

Oil riches have allowed Azerbaijan to thrive since its post-Soviet independence. But the global collapse in energy prices has put a strain on the economy.

The opposition said Aliyev has no tolerance for dissent and is guilty of human rights violations.

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