Azerbaijan's incumbent President and a candidate for ongoing Azeri presidential elections Ilham Aliyev, Reuters
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has won re-election with more than 90% of the vote, the head of the oil and gas rich country's electoral commission said on Thursday, according to state media.
Aliyev has been president of Azerbaijan since 2003, when he took over from his father, Heydar. He routinely receives over 85% of the vote in elections that rights groups have described as neither free nor fair, an allegation officials reject.
State news agency AZERTAC cited Mazahir Panahov, the electoral commission chairman, as saying that Aliyev had received 92.05% of the vote, with over 93% of the votes counted. Officials said turnout on Wednesday had been around 76%.
The runner-up, a lawmaker who is loyal to Aliyev, received slightly more than 2%.
The vote played out against a crackdown on domestic dissent, with a string of Azerbaijani journalists jailed since late November in what media groups said was a crackdown on corruption reporting. Baku rejected that criticism.
Azerbaijan was not due to hold presidential elections until 2025, but Aliyev moved the polls forward after Baku took back control of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in September.
Karabakh, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, had an ethnic Armenian population that had enjoyed de facto independence from Baku since a lengthy war in the early 1990s. Almost all of them fled after Azerbaijani forces re-established control.
For Azerbaijan, the victory was a triumph that heralded what Aliyev called "a new era" for his country. For Armenia, the defeat was a national tragedy and the 120,000 displaced refugees a humanitarian disaster.
Reporting by Nailia Bagirova in Baku