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Posted: October 10, 2013

Oops! Race results released day BEFORE country's election


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            Oops! Race results released day BEFORE country's election
Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, is captured during the session 'Energy Outlook 2009' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009.

BAKU, Azerbaijan —

There were no "hanging chads" or court-ordered recounts needed to determine the winner of the presidential election in a former Soviet republic.

In fact, voters didn't even have to wait until Election Day to find out who won the not-so-hotly contested race. That's because the official results of Azerbaijan's presidential election were released a full day before voting was supposed to have begun.

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According to the New York Times, the country's Central Election Commission sent out vote totals showing incumbent president Ilham Aliyev trouncing his opponent with nearly 73 percent of the vote. 

There was little doubt that Aliyev was going to win his third consecutive election since taking over from his father a decade ago. Free speech and freedom of the press are essentially non-existent in the country. Aliyev's opponent was even barred from airing ads on state TV. 

The election commission claims the early results, which were released on an official state smartphone app, were results from the 2008 election sent out by accident. But the candidates listed in the results were those from this year's races. 

Not surprisingly, Aliyev has now officially been named the winner, taking in nearly 85 percent of the votes so far.


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