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Center for National and International Studies




The FB users summarize the year 2019, make predictions for 2020 and discuss the events of the turn of the year.

Tofig Yagublu of Musavat concludes: “ I am sorry, my motherland! We enter the new year with Karabagh occupied by the Armenian troops, while the rest of the country- by Aliyev’s! Shame on us!”

Natig Jafarli of REAL makes an overview of the international events. He notes that most if his last year predictions realized. He starts with the US, mentioning that for Trump to be re-elected he needs to fulfill a few tasks in domestic and foreign policy. One of them is improvement of trade relations with China in favor of the US- increase the export of US agricultural products, so gain the votes of the conservative part of the population of farmers. The other task is to decrease the cost of the gasoline, which was 2 dollars when Obama was in office, and now is close to 4 dollars. For that externally he may try to decrease the world oil price. The relations with Russia will be strict, to put an end to the issue of interference in elections. But with Iran will be difficult, as Iran will wait for the outcome of elections. In case of democrats winning the old agreement will be restored, in the opposite case — it will compromise and sign the new one, as situation in Iran is difficult and it will not survive sanctions longer. In Russia he argues the price of oil near 60-70 dollars makes sanctions meaningless, as oil and gas prices are related, and Russia sells 7 mln barrels of oil daily, while 155-157 billion cm gas annually. It also adjusted to sanctions in certain sectors of economy, for instance has increased local agricultural production.Because it is more confident now, it will continue her games in the near abroad, although with less application of force, but forming friendly to herself parties, interfering in elections etc. It may also using the Azerbaijani billionaires in Moscow create pro-Russia parties in Azerbaijan.But Russia’s capacities are limited it will be forced to change, as the pressure from below will also be increasing with extension of younger generation. In brotherly Turkey the situation will become worse, as the economy has turned into the hostage of foreign policy. We will see the record lows of lira’s exchange rate. And even AKP, observing strengthening of the center-right parties may go to the extra-ordinary elections. Natig Jafarli considers that for Azerbaijan this will be an important year. It will be only dependent on the price of oil. If it stays higher than 55 dollars for barrel, the situation will be stable. The measures which the government undertakes in economy does have an effect- as without parallel change of governance and judiciary, these steps in economy will be ineffective. The new composition of the parliament will be interesting, with YAP continue to lose its administrative resource ( as it is does not have any electoral resource), and attempts by the government to create a new ruling party. We will see more changes of cadres, may be even the referendum to change the Constitution, but as long as the old legislative rules, the governance methods will not change, there won’t be any significant changes happening either in politics or economics. So the inflation will rise, the consumer prices also, the internal contradictions will intensify, and even those old cadres who are now targeted by authorities may uite with system’s opposition and fight back…”

The journalist Hazi Bey comments on the interview by ex-premier Panah Huseyn, revealing the gap between the old generation of opposition and the younger one.: “ When I listened to the ad of Panah Huseyn interview to Elshad Miri, I thought how come this person was taken seriously both by the government and the opposition. I recall that once I told the YAP member:” How can Artur Rasi-zade be a premier?” He answered: “ How can Panah Huseyn be the one?”

Under the title: So it starts.. blogger and journalist Ruzgar Movsum posted the photo from the Turkish streets with the AKP poster against the New Year celebration. The comments were ironic: “ They were born with this calendar, lived with this calendar and will die under it, but they attack it!” “ So many people are simply ignorant” etc.

The FB users shared an interview by opposition politicians Ali Aliyev to the 13Kanal “ If the bureaucrats who stole millions are arrested, then this money should be returned to people… “ “ You deprive people of all rights, give the salary 250 manats , sell gas for 20 pennies.. — how can people survive?”

They also share the publication by the OCCRP about Joseph Muscat, premier of Malta, who was called by the organization the most corrupt person of 2019. As is known, the name of SOCAR is mentioned in the scandal with the death of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Konul Ali, female candidate for the parliamentary elections of Musavat party reports about the course of the collection of signature procedure in door -to -door campaigning. She writes about particularly welcoming attitude of people, when they know that she is from Musavat opposition party.

The FB users also shared news that the son of the former first deputy of the minister of the internal affairs general Zahid Dunyamaliyev is running for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Veli Dunyamaliyev is running from the 40 Kapaz electoral district.

People share Davud Mammadov’s analysis of the Strategic Roadmaps which were adopted by the government in 2016. He writes: “ Let’ see the results of three years of these Roadmaps.

1. GDP growth. The goal was to achieve the growth more than 3% by 2025. The average growth in these three years was 1.2%.

2. Employment. The goal was opening of more than 425 thousand new jobs. Upon 3 year completion 125 thousand jobs opened.

3.Non-oil sector. By 2025 it was planned to raise the production of the non-oil sector from 170 dollars per capita to 450 dollars. The reality by the 3d year- 171 dollars per capita.

4. Oil dependence. The goal was to reduce the SOFAZ transfers to the budget to the 15% before 2025. By the end of the third year of the roadmap — it increased by 47% ( compare to 2016 -43,5%).

5. Direct investments in the non-oil sector. The goal is to raise it from 2,6% of GDP to 4% of GDP by 2025. What is the current investment- I could not find among the official statistics.

So to conclude:

1. We are quite behind. In order to catch up, we need to have GDP growth up to 4%, which does not seem possible.

2. Here is an improvement. But most of these jobs were opened in 2019, when the tax income was nullified, so it was just the result of legalization of those jobs.

3. Here is just a shame.

4. Also a shame

Meydan TV reports the death of the Khudat city citizen Ramil Aliosmanov’s death after tortures in police department. His brother tells the story, how he was detained from the street while quietly smoking the cigarette, and how his mother was deceived by the policemen and extorted 300 manats for getting the car back. He was found then dead in his bath at home.

FB users also share an information by Hurriyet.az about living conditions of the handicapped Karabagh war veteran, who has been living for 20 years in the basement storage of a shop.

The quotation by the MP Zahid Oruj “ If Armenians will put their arms down, they can apply for the Azerbaijani citizenship” is shared with comments, both ironic and serious.

Январь 2, 2020

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