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Azerbaijan bars opposition candidate from key vote

Tuesday - 8/27/2013, 1:40pm  ET

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) -- Election officials in Azerbaijan have refused to register the main opposition candidate for October's presidential election in the authoritarian Caspian Sea nation.

Ilham Aliyev, who has been president of this former Soviet republic since taking over from his father a decade ago, is running for a third term on Oct. 9.

His main opponent was expected to be Rustam Ibrahimbekov, a 74-year-old screenwriter who has worked on popular Soviet and Russian films.

But the Central Election Commission ruled Tuesday that Ibrahimbekov is ineligible to run because he has dual Russian-Azerbaijani citizenship and lives primarily in Moscow, thus failing to meet a requirement that presidential candidates have lived in the country for at least 10 years.

No election in Azerbaijan has been deemed free and fair by independent international monitors.

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