Oops! Mass Election Fraud in Azerbaijan

Election fraud in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has never been a haven for political freedom so no one is ever surprised to hear about allegations of ballot-stuffing and voter intimidation. But this year they took things one step further by publishing results before the polls had even opened.

An electoral commission accidentally published the results a full day before voting which revealed a stunning victory for the pre-determined president, Ilham Aliyev, who has run the oil rich republic since taking over from his father 10 years ago. A screenshot from the electoral commission app showed that Aliyev had received 72.76 percent of the vote compared with just 7.4 percent for the opposition candidate, Jamil Hasanli.

Azerbaijan VotesThe pre-determined results were quickly recalled and whoever made the mistake quickly “disappeared”. The official story given by Azerbaijani authorities was that the app’s developer (now sitting in a Gulag somewhere) had mistakenly sent out the 2008 election results as part of a test. There is one slight flaw with the official story though – the numbers and candidates don’t match the 2008 results.

But apparently the app didn’t even have the correct results for 2013 – it was being modest. On Wednesday exit polls showed even better results for Aliyev, giving him 92 per cent of the vote. And today the official results are in! Aliyev….. WON!!! The President secured a third five-year term with 84.6 percent of the vote! The next leading contender only managed to acquire 5.5 percent.

But observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe won’t let Aliyev be great. The observers say the election was unfair from the start and reeked of ballot-box stuffing and fraudulent counting.

The election was “undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly and association that did not guarantee a level playing field for candidates,” the observers wrote in a report.

“Continued allegations of candidate and voter intimidation and a restrictive media environment marred the campaign,” the report said. “Significant problems were observed throughout all stages of Election Day processes and underscored the serious nature of the shortcomings.”

If you told me that a corrupt former USSR country with a leader who inherited the presidency from his father had engaged in election fraud, I would say SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! But alas, it’s true. Turns out election fraud can happen in even the purest of countries. Even Azerbaijan!

Azerbaijan took take a page out of America’s book and offer four distinct and equally appealing choices:

  1. Republican
  2. Democrat
  3. Third party who will never win
  4. Joke write-in vote

Ahhh, democracy at its best!

Via: The New York Times

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