Azerbaijan protesters want election results thrown out


World Digest

November 14, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN -- Waving orange flags and calling for the government's resignation, about 20,000 protesters rallied in Azerbaijan's capital yesterday as the opposition kept up pressure to overturn the results of a disputed parliamentary election.

The rally, watched over by hundreds of riot police, ended without violence. But opposition leaders said further protests would be held across the country in the coming weeks.

Isa Gambar, a leader of the newly formed Democratic Front, which unites virtually all opposition forces in this former Soviet state, called on President Ilham Aliyev to negotiate as the only way out of the confrontation over opposition charges of fraud in the Nov. 6 balloting.

Gambar insisted that the solution should be to repeat the elections. But some analysts say the opposition's goal is to overturn the official results in as many districts as possible, boosting the number of critical voices in parliament and creating more democratic conditions for presidential balloting in 2008.

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