Azerbaijan: constitutional court presents results of by-elections

Azerbaijan's ruling party won five of the seats, while nominally independent candidates won three and opposition politicians took two, the AP reports.

The main opposition party Musavat, which failed to win any seats, alleged a total falsification of the results. But the head of the election commission, Mazahir Panahov, insisted Monday that the polls had taken place democratically and "in a transparent atmosphere."

The November elections, as well as the tight restrictions on opposition gatherings to protest its outcome, raised concern in the West about President Ilham Aliev's commitment to democracy in Azerbaijan, which the West sees as a key source of oil and values for its strategic position bordering Russia and Iran.

The ruling party kept a majority in parliament in November's polls with the support of nominally independent lawmakers. The opposition alleged widespread irregularities, the AP reports.