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Azerbaijani opposition demand free presidential elections

August 18, 2013, 22:10 UTC+3

The protest action involved up to 2,500 people

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Rustam Ibragimbekov, photo ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

Rustam Ibragimbekov, photo ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

BAKU, August 18 (Itar-Tass) - Azerbaijan’s opposition has organised a protest action in the capital in support of free presidential elections.

The protest action has been organised by the National Council for Democratic Forces that unites several opposition parties, including Musavat, the People’s Front and the Liberal Party.

The protest action involved up to 2,500 people, who provided support for a candidate nominated by the united opposition - famous film writer Rustam Ibragimbekov.

Musavat Party chairman, Isa Gambar, said the party was planning to discuss another candidate on Monday, August 19. This is related to the fact that when Ibragimbekov’s registration can arouse problems due to his double citizenship. Under legislation, a citizen, who lives in Azerbaijan more than 10 years, can run for presidency. A month ago Ibragimbekov gave an application to deprive him of Russia’s citizenship. But the procedure requires the time that he can lack to be registered by the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, Gambar said, “The opposition intends to nominate a single candidate and it is convinced in its victory.”

The participants in the protest action took a resolution to urge the authorities to create conditions for democratic presidential elections and to give equal possibilities for all candidates. No incidents have been reported.

The presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be held on October 9. Till now the CEC approved 12 candidates, including incumbent Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev, who was nominated by the ruling party Eni Azerbaijan (New Azerbaijan).

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