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Saturday 8 February 2020

Azeris Head to Polls


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BAKU (Reuters) — Azeris voted in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday seen as the next step by President Ilham Aliyev to consolidate power and speed economic reforms by replacing the old guard associated with his father with younger legislators.

Aliyev, who has been in power for 17 years, called the election in December, nine months before it was formally due. Officials from his ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party said the move was “to support the president’s policy on reforms and personnel changes”.

In October, Aliyev dismissed his influential chief-of-staff, Ramiz Mehdiyev, and made other high-profile changes including the appointment of 62-year-old economist Ali Asadov as prime minister. The president criticized the pace of economic reforms and said he wanted to clear out government officials who had reached pensionable age, a move seen as intended to force out people from the era of his father, Heydar Aliyev.

The central election commission said that turnout by 3 PM (12:00 GMT) was over 39%.

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