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Azeri Opposition Nominee Clears Last Hurdle to Run for President

The Azeri opposition’s candidate to challenge President Ilham Aliyev at elections next month was registered after collecting the required number of signatures.

Camil Hasanli, 61, nominated last month by the National Council of Democratic Forces, gathered 40,291 signatures, exceeding the 40,000 threshold, the Central Electoral Commission said today at a meeting in Baku, the capital.

Hasanli, a prominent historian and professor at Baku State University, has the backing of a majority of the Caspian nation’s opposition, making him President Aliyev’s main rival in the elections, which are scheduled for Oct. 9.

Aliyev, 51, who succeeded his father in a disputed presidential ballot 10 years ago, was nominated by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, or YAP, in July to compete for a third term in office. The Azeri leader’s family has run the oil-rich Caspian Sea state for more than four decades.

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