Azerbaijan votes in polls boycotted by the opposition

Supporters of the Musavat (Equality) Party raise their fists and chant slogans during a rally in Baku on October 25, 2015Voters in oil-rich Azerbaijan went to the polls Sunday in a parliamentary election widely expected to cement strongman President Ilham Aliyev’s grip on power and boycotted by major opposition forces. International rights groups have denounced Sunday’s vote as an “imitation election” accusing the government of the ex-Soviet state of jailing political opponents under trumped-up charges and limiting parties’ ability to campaign. Turnout was 28.2 percent at 0800 GMT, four hours after polls opened, the Central Election Commission said.

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