Ruling party retains majority in Azerbaijan's parliament

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Azerbaijan's ruling party has retained its parliamentary majority, according to initial election results announced on Monday.

The New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) secured at least 65 seats in the 125-member National Assembly of the South Caucasus nation, with 88.19 percent of the total votes counted, according to the country's election commission.

Voter turnout was 47.81 percent.

Azerbaijan started its first ever snap parliamentary elections on Sunday to renew its dissolved 125-member top legislative body.

A record number of 1,314 candidates, of which 21 percent were women, stood for parliamentary seats. A total of 246 candidates were nominated by 19 political parties, including 122 by the ruling YAP.

Some 77,800 local and 883 international observers representing 59 international organizations and 58 countries monitored the voting.

Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections were initially set for October 2020. Last December, the legislative body approved dissolving itself and holding early elections, citing the need to keep up with the pace of ongoing reforms in the country. On Dec. 5, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to dissolve parliament and set the time for snap elections.

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