15min.lt have this morning come out with an extraordinary story that points towards Azerbaijan paying people to vote for them in the Eurovision final. They have this morning reported the story of students in Vilnius who were approached by two Russian men, and were payed to vote for Azerbaijan in last night’s Eurovision final. Each of the students were payed 20 Euros for each time that they voted for the specific artist.
The paper then sent a number of undercover reporters with cameras and voice recording equipment to a cafe where they would be given sim cards to vote with. At the meeting the men boasted how this was done in almost all the countries taking part in the contest and how that they did it across countries as not to cause suspicion.
Each group that is payed had five phones each and then must vote as many times as possible in the 15 minute window. After the 15 minutes a group manager then checks the number of votes sent for the country. The men went on to say that the same thing happens during the semi finals. The most interesting part is where he admitted that Azerbaijan use this technique in 15 countries, and that Russia are also involved in buying votes.
Interesting Lithuania gave Azerbaijan 12 points last night and 7 points to Russia meaning for the first time in years Georgia scored only 8 from Lithuania.
Here are the countries that gave 12 to Azerbaijan last night:
Austria, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro and Russia
They got 10 points from:
Belarus, Romania & Ukraine
And 8 points from:
France, Moldova & Cyprus
Whilst Russia got 12 points last night from:
Estonia & Latvia
And 10 points from:
United Kingdom & Ireland
And finally 8 points from:
Belarus & Serbia
In past years there have been allegations in Cyprus that Azerbaijan rigged the televote in 2012. There were also allegations in Bulgaria and Malta that Azerbaijan had been rigging the vote there as well. There are now also rumors that an investigation has been started into the allegations, this has yet to be confirmed.