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Azerbaijan May Exclude OSCE From Vote Monitoring After Criticism

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Azerbaijan said it may stop inviting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor elections after the group said this month’s presidential vote wasn’t free or fair.

The 57-member OSCE’s assessment was “an insult to the will of Azeri voters,” Azar Sariyev, a spokesman for the Central Electoral Commission, said today by phone from the capital, Baku. “The CEC is forced to ask the government to reconsider its policy of cooperating” with the OSCE in the future.

The election, which gave incumbent Ilham Aliyev another five-year term, “fell short of international standards” and was undermined by “serious shortcomings,” the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said in a statement the day after the Caspian Sea nation’s Oct. 9 ballot.

Aliyev, 51, won a third term in office with 84.6 percent of the votes, according to the CEC. Camil Hasanli, the candidate backed by opposition parties, received 5.5 percent, with eight other candidates dividing up the remaining votes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zulfugar Agayev in Baku at zagayev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net

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