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Early presidential elections took place in the Republic of Azerbaijan on 11 April 2018. President Ilham Aliyev was reelected for his fourth term in office.
As noted by the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission (EOM), the Azerbaijani authorities displayed a positive attitude towards international observers, who were able to operate freely, which constitutes a constructive step.
According to the EOM, the election took place within a restrictive political environment and under laws that curtail fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of assembly, expression and media. On the day of elections the observers reported widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, a lack of transparency and numerous serious irregularities.
The European Union expects the Azerbaijani authorities to take on board and implement the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in relation to these and previous elections. The EU stands ready to assist in this process.
The EU looks forward to continuing dialogue and working closely with Azerbaijan, including with a view to addressing fundamental issues of democracy and human rights during the renewed term in office of the President, for the benefit of the people of Azerbaijan and EU-Azerbaijan relations.