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Monday, September 12, 2005


Baku: 2,000 rally for free elections

From International Relations and Security Network:

More than 2,000 opposition politicians and their supporters, clad in orange, rallied in the Azerbaijani capital on Saturday, demanding President Ilham Aliev’s resignation and calling on the authorities to ensure free and fair parliamentary elections in November. It was the first in a series of rallies planned for the run-up to the poll, in which activists, children, and the elderly paraded through the streets of Baku, waving the opposition’s orange flags and shouting “Resign!” and “Freedom!” Observers are expecting more popular protests in the run-up to the 6 November elections similar to those that succeeded in overthrowing governments in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL reported. Azerbaijan, a Muslim nation of eight million people with large oil and gas reserves, has never staged an election judged free and fair by Western monitors.

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