Asbarez: Aliyev Casts Ballot in Occupied Stepanakert

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan cast his ballot for his re-election during Wednesday snap polls in Stepanakert, the capital of occupied Artsakh.

Aliyev announced the snap election after the September attack in Artsakh, which saw the forced displacement of more than 100,000 Armenians who fled to Armenia.

He hailed Wednesday’s vote as the first elections to be held in the “entire territory” of Azerbaijan, with the country’s Central Electoral Commission reporting that 26 polling stations were established in occupied Artsakh.

As the polls closed at 7 p.m. local time, Aliyev was expected to be the “winner” of the election with more than 93 percent of the votes. This will secure the Azerbaijani despot another seven years at the helm of the country, which he and his father, Haydar, have been ruling for 30 years.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey did not wait until the official results and called to congratulate Aliyev on what he called “his decisive” victory. Erdogan also expressed hope that after the elections, a peace treaty with Armenia will be signed.

“The negotiations with Armenia, in which you have done a great job as a victorious leader, will also lead to the signing of a peace treaty,” Erdogan reportedly told Aliyev.

The press in Turkey also hailed Wednesday’s Azerbaijani elections as a “victory.”

Media outlets reported that more than 23,000 people cast ballots in the occupied city of Shushi.

The only international organization invited to monitor the elections was the OSCE. A member of that monitoring team, Swiss lawmaker Nik Gugger was arrested on Monday and later expelled from Azerbaijan for his previous criticism of the Baku regime.