BAKU – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sealed an overwhelming election victory to secure a third term.
Aliyev on Wednesday scored a crushing win with almost 85 per cent of the vote, with main opposition challenger Jamil Hasanli in distant second place, partial results showed.
"The presidential election in Azerbaijan was a triumph for democracy," Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation early on Thursday morning.
"The fact that this vote was free and transparent is another important step towards democracy," Aliyev said.
Aliyev had an lead in the elections with some 84.7 per cent of the vote, the central election commission said, in partial results based on around 75 per cent vote count. Hasanli was in second on just over 5.2 per cent of the vote.
An initial exit poll from the officially-accredited Prognos agency put Aliyev on almost 84 per cent of the vote, far ahead of Hasanli, in second place with around 8 per cent.
Some 72 per cent of Azerbaijan's roughly 7 million registered voters cast their ballots, the central electoral commission said. AFP