Turkey welcomes peaceful election in Azerbaijan

Turkey welcomes peaceful election in Azerbaijan

Turkey welcomes peaceful election in Azerbaijan

Election officials start counting ballots at a polling station during parliamentary elections in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Feb. 9, 2020. (AP Photo)

Turkey on Feb. 9 welcomed the peaceful voting in Azerbaijan.

“We wish that the parliamentary elections held today will be auspicious for brotherly Azerbaijan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It also congratulated President Ilham Aliyev and the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) under his leadership, for their election success.

“We are happy that the elections were conducted peacefully across the country,” read the statement.

“We believe that the efforts of the Azerbaijani authorities from the beginning and the maturity of the Azerbaijani people displayed during the election process to ensure that the elections were held in accordance with the democratic principles and transparency standards are worthy of praise,” it added.

Aliyev, who has been in power since 2003, called the election in December after the sitting parliament appealed to be dissolved in order to elect a new legislature that would work more closely with the president on reforms.

The YAP held 65 of the 125 seats in the old parliament, short of the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution.

Nineteen political parties fielded candidates, but most of the more than 1,600 people running were self-nominated, according to the election observation mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The official campaigning period began three weeks ago. Polling places closed at 7 p.m. (1500 GMT).

Central election commission chief Mazahir Panahov said no complaints about violations of election regulations had been received by Feb.9 afternoon.

Many Turkish officials were also among the observers of the snap parliamentary election, including Muharrem Akkaya, the head of Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK).