Voting starts in Azerbaijan’s snap parliamentary poll

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA): Voters are heading out to cast ballots in Azerbaijan’s snap election Sunday, with polls opening at 8.00 a.m. (0400GMT) local time and set to close at 7.00 p.m. (1500 GMT).

A total of 1,314 candidates – including nearly 300 women – are running for parliamentary seats in the Caspian country.

Over 5.3 million registered voters are casting votes to choose 125 members of the Milli Majlis, or National Assembly.

Over 130 international media outlets from 47 countries will cover the snap election, and over 77,000 local and 883 foreign observers have been accredited to monitor the polls.

The country boasts some 5,500 polling stations nationwide, with about 1,000 equipped with a special web camera system making them viewable on the website of the Central Election Commission.

These are Azerbaijan’s sixth parliamentary polls since the country regained its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Before the snap election decision, a parliamentary election had been scheduled for this November.