Thousands Protest Elections in Azerbaijan

Thousands Protest Elections in Azerbaijan

(AP) Thousands protest elections in Azerbaijan
BAKU, Azerbaijan
Thousands have gathered in the capital of Azerbaijan to protest the re-election of President Ilham Aliyev in a vote widely criticized by international election monitors.

The protesters in Baku are demanding that the election be nullified and that Aliyev resign. Aliyev succeeded his father to the presidency of this small oil-rich nation in 2003, extending decades of dynastic rule.

Leading the march Saturday was Jamil Hasanli, the historian who ran as the main opposition candidate but snagged less than 6 percent of the vote to Aliyev’s 85 percent.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe called the Wednesday vote flawed. The day before, the Central Election Commission released the results of the vote on a smartphone app, showing Aliyev comfortably in the lead.