Russian observers say presidential elections in Azerbaijan were honest

According to foreign observers, the presidential elections in Azerbaijan went ahead 'in a positive way.' As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced today by Chairman of the Russian Central Elections Committee Alexander Veshniakov. He said he had talked by phone with the chairman of the Russian delegation observing the elections in Azerbaijan. 'There was quite a high turnout in these elections,' he pointed out. 'Nobody can deny that there was a festive atmosphere throughout this election campaign.'

Mr Veshniakov said that according to the Russian observers 'voting at the polling stations was quite well organised.' Every ballot-paper was put inside a special envelope, he said, which meant they could not be tampered with. Members of the Interior Ministry were not given access to the polling stations.

All the observers, on the other hand, were given complete access to all the polling stations which enabled them to check the voting system and the system for counting votes. 'The Russian delegation has no reason to doubt the announcement made by the Azerbaijani elections committee that there were no serious violations,' Mr Veshniakov said. However, he said that 'from the point of view of other observers their were some propagandistic violations in the pre-election campaign.'

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