Azerbaijan has been holding presidential elections. Although the official result will not be announced until Oct. 16, the re-election of President Ilham Alijev looks almost certain. The opposition boycotted the elections in protest against the curtailment of democratic freedoms in the country. Alijev came to power five years ago following the death of his father, Heidar Alijev. Heidar Alijev had ruled the South Caucasus country for 30 years with an iron fist. Aliyev, who took over as president of the energy-rich former Soviet republic from his father in a 2003 election, won 86 percent of the votes cast, according to the poll conducted by a group of nongovernmental organizations (Radio Netherlands, Bloomberg)

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