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Center for National and International Studies




FB users continue to discuss election and post-election situation, social- economic developments, Munich debate of two presidents, fire on Sadarak market, the course of investigation of attack against the Jale Bayramova, the daughter of Gubad Ibadoglu , arrest of the head of local executive power, cancellation of the results in some precincts of certain constgituencies.

Gubad Ibadoglu comments on the economic programs of the government, stressing that in 7 years of implementation of the Development concept “Azerbaijan 2020: Glance to the future” the country not only did not develop, but even lagged behind. Compared to the start date of 2012, GDP per capita fell by 1, 34 times, while GDP per capita in non-oil sector  5,65 times. During this period Azerbaijan earned more than 100 bln dollars from the oil sale.

He also mentions two types of trolls who are attacking his profile – those of “policemen” and “economists”. “Policemen” are visibly all fake, young and inexperienced and it is obvious that a few profiles are managed by one person, while economists are more professional and look real with more detailed and wide comments, but purely reflecting the official economic propaganda.

He stresses that so far nobody was detained in connection with the criminal case at the 76 constituency Lenkoran – Astara, 16 precinct- where his daughter -observer was attacked.

Seymur Hezi continues to analyse the Munich debate of the two presidents, considering that the president should avoid such debates with the aggressor, as it shows him weak. Instead of preparing anti-terrorist operations, he gets into useless debate with the occupier. It looks especially strange, that he never had a dialogue with opposition in 17 years, closed all media outlets, left  the parliament without any opposition party. It looks like, by his opinion, so much advertised by his father Heydar Aliyev as a victory the Summit in Lisbon.

Samir Kazimli continues the topic of police taking protesters in the distant part s from the capital by buses. He writes with irony: “ Did you know that now  the Central bus station moved to the CEC? Before, if people wanted to travel to the regions of Azerbaijan they will board the buses at the Central Bus Station, but now they are taken to the regions from the  Central Election Commission.  And did you know also that the Central bus station is under control of the presidential administration anyway?”

FB users are ridiculing elections and pro-government  candidates. One of them writes, that at the Imishli – Agsu constituency they threatened the candidate  Tahir Kerimli that they will through him in the Agsu abyss. The FB user  suggests that the way of punishing him should be different- he should be thrown to the abyss with the parachute , at least it will decrease responsibility. The other one is joking that today he spoke with his friend and heard the rain on the phone, and he asked him:” Does it rain there?” “ No, – was the answer, these are tears of electorate of Chingiz Ganizade, whose constituency’s  voting results were cancelled” Both candidates are defectors from the opposition, and who since then were  considered “a pocket opposition”. The same FB user Ali Inglabci writes: “ My friend was detained at the rally, brought to Shamakha ( the city three hours away from the capital – L.A.) and his mother was very worried. I called him and gave a phone to his mother. Where are you, son? Do not worry, mom, I am in Shamaha. She was happy to find out and said: on your back please buy local cheese for me. “ Oh, mom, I am not here for shopping, I was detained !!”

The prominent human rights defender Echin Mammad reports that his immunity and other rights as a candidate in violation of Election Code, Constitutions and UN declarations, similar to the other constituencies,  were brutally violated at the 42 Sumgayit constituency 2 precinct. He filed a complaint and will be standing for his rights unless they are provided. The FB was full of his photos, detained by numerous policemen and dragging him brutally to the police station.

Young activists compare Mazahir Panahov -the chair of the CEC – with the dog serving its master and spread the slogan hashtag Mezi, ( short from Mazahir -L.A) phuuu!” They also spread hashtag “ cancel them all”, demanding cancellation of voting results at all 125 constituencies. They widely share information about the protest vigil of the young candidates on the stairs of the CEC building.

The activists continue to discuss the Munich conference dialogue of two presidents, strongly criticising Aliyev and connecting the issue of Karabagh to the falsified elections.  Tofig Yagublu comments with irony: “ By the falsified elections Aliyev showed to the whole world, that it is not possible to live in Azerbaijan, urging them to sympathize with Armenians, who do not want to turn into us.” He also stresses that while some note that Aliyev spoke better English, than Pashinian, it is not the English language, but the language of democracy and freedom, which Pashinian spoke, was important and which Aliyev failed.

Mehman Huseynov, the blogger and activist, who ran as a candidate expresses his commitment to the struggle to discredit the falsified results in his 31 Surakhani constituency 2nd precinct, where he asserts he won the popular votes.

Ali Kerimli of PFP comments on the dispersal of the post-election protest rally referring to the official speeches of Ilham Aliyev and his promises to listen to people, if they go out in the streets.

The FB users widely share the gif – meme about Azerbaijani policemen and comment on the arrest of its author graphic designer Rasul Hasan. Ruzgar Movsum says: “ Look how miserable is our police, which is called the law enforcement bodies but in fact which has turned into jerks protecting our regime, that for this meme they have stolen Rasul Hasan from his home!!!” Nurlan Libre confirms it and reports that Rufat Safarov, who protested it was also detained. One FB user mentions that there is no any logic in the actions of police. They have deleted the meme from the site of the author, while it was already spread all over internet. They detain people, bring them to various parts of the country, where they return quicker than police themselves etc.

The news about burning of yet another cheap and popular hypermarket Sadarak quickly spread in the internet. Gubad Ibadoglu , the economist and opposition  comments on the reasons of such a frequent fires at the objects of the entrepreneurs: 1. absence of safety , which is caused by corruption 2. in-group fighting within government 3. obligatory insurance of the objects and property. Ali Kerimli of Popular Front  Party stresses that it is the third time that Sadarak market was burning during few last years. In last 6 years – there was 11 fires at the markets. This is the result of corruption and poor governance, but it does not serve a lesson to the authorities. He stresses that the owners of the shops should all get the compensation from the government.

The word “reforms” is utilized by many FB users commenting with irony on cases of violation of human rights and other. For instance, Seymur Hezi commented that Rufat Safarov  was detained also within the framework of “reforms”. Or, when FB users discussed the arrest of the head of the local executive power  “ He was arrested while accepting “reforms”.

Altay Geyushov comments on results of elections, appealing to people, that since they did not come to vote, everything will remain the same, they will continue to suffer, live in misery and lack of freedoms, while Pashayevs will get richer, and Rovnag  Abdullayev (the director of SOCAR) will buy his son this time the watch for 3 mln dollars, the West will speak about democracy, but behind the scene will  benefit from cooperation with the corrupt dictatorships. “I was trying hard”,- he writes ”since April 2018 advocating people for  mass voting and then defending the votes, but since you did not come, you will also feel the consequence”.

The candidate,  feminist Rabiyya Mammadova shares the list of close relatives of the chair of the 10  Binagadi 3 Electoral Commission of Constituency Iskander Aliyev , who “appropriated” together with the MP of 30 years Madar Musayev this constituency – all together 8 family members working in  polling stations election commissions (  11, 12, 18, 17, 24, 25, 36)  representing different parties.

Taleh Khasmammadov reports about fake statistics in documents in regards the square of the agricultural plots ( increased from 2.800 hectars to 3.800) in the Garamaryam village of the Goychay region and respectively about mechanism of misappropriation of the budget funds by the local executive and other authorities.

Gubad Ibadoglu analyses the statistics of the citizens’ complaints sent from the regions to the capital, follows its geography, and makes some conclusions. Firts, the highest number of complaints usually comes from Yevlakh, Akstafa,Agsu, Naftalan, Goychay etc.  In spite of that, the authorities made arrests only in two of them, without investigating or punishing others. Most importantly however, is that while majority of complaints are connected to the local governance, in 2019 of more than 800 punished majority were from the central organs. He concludes on the basis of statistics, that while the nature of violations are of local character, authorities are punishing central bureaucrats.

Seymur Hezi comments that in order to radically change the political environment in the country, the proportional system of elections should be introduced, and the division of power should be strictly implemented – with the parliament as a centre  of politics.  Because if we do not conduct serious reforms, it will be difficult to win over the current status quo.

The FB user Ali Inglabci ridicules people, who were praising “ victory” of  Aliyev over Pashinian in Munich. He considers, that it is nonsense, because the country is still under occupation of the neighbours, while high number of generals in our army, who actually stole meals from soldiers is misleading.   “ we are just a crowd, whose people live in misery, while the leadership has billions… We are the nation, who is afraid of going out for protest, which victory are you talking about?” He follows by appealing p[eople to get rid of sense of fear and come out to the squares, as only there true citizen is formed.

Javid Gara, the young activist, who ran as a candidate lists the obstacles to winning in the elections. Among them is lack of common platform for the observers, difficulties in finding consensus with political parties to withdraw their candidates in favour of his, and the public exit from REAL party by Azer Gasimli, which contributed to the weakening of its image among voters.

Ilgar Mammadov comments that last week the voters turnout was 15-20%, which his considers a good result of their campaign. If not the mobilization campaign of 18 months, he stresses, even 5% would not show up.   He considers that they should continuously working convincing people that the only way for change is elections. True, he adds, the economic factor may create opportunities, but to sit and wait while the price of oil drops down is far from intelligence.

Samir Aliyev, an economic expert, commenting on inflation writes on his timeline that “today is the anniversary of depreciation of manat. Five years ago people faced bad news  that national currency lost of more than 26% of its value as compared to the other currencies, but this was not the end of it. Ten months later a similar process took place. We lost 1/3 of our banks, and our financial system was shaken. The consumer prices increased more than  two times, jobs were lost. People were left vis-a-vis pressures of the banking system. But then oil’s price increased and we were although temporarily, but saved. Now the situation is the same. Few banks are in the condition of reanimation ( intensive therapy), and while the consumer credits issue partially found its solution, the entrepreneurs are still paying “ depreciation  interest”. In spite of all efforts, non-oil sector is not developing, and the oil dependency is still high. Two times already we experienced difficulties due to the fall of the  world oil price in 2008-2009 and 2015… Let God protect us from the third one..”

Yadigar Sadyghli  reports that he filed  a complaint, based on his observers’ act that  at the constituency 73, 12  precinct in spite of only  181 people voted, the protocol showed this number as 883, and that after voting the observers were kicked out from the precinct, so they did not observe the tabulation. As a result of this complaint, he informs, there is all sorts of pressure so the observer would delete his signatgure from the document. They do it either putting pressure on him, or trying to cause mercy toward the chair of the commission.

Nurlan Libre reports, that the journalist Avaz Hasanli was brutally beaten up by policemen in front of the Finance Ministry.

Seymur Hezi ironically comments on the statement by the spokesperson of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, that Azerbaijan is interested in signing and ratification of the agreement with the EU, as it will guarantee financial support of the country. “ How come? Did not he have 52 bln dollars? And now he is begging for money?”

Taleh Khasmammadov reports on arrest of the head of executive power of Neftchala region Ismayil Veliyev and his deputy Vurgun Alekberov by the employees of the State Security Service ( DTX) in black masks. Tofug Yagublu jokingly comments, that if they while there would arrest the chair of the precinct election and his deputy, that would be already true “reforms”.

Altay Geyushov makes a post-election conclusion, that it is clear that during these years, the institute of elections was eliminated in Azerbaijan, thus depriving  people  of its basic right, right of election. That’s why all the other issues should be put aside, and all forces should unite only around one issue- the issue of elections. He is convinced that if people will not have the normally functioning institute of elections, none of other problems will be resolved. He also comments on the president’s fight with corruption: “ Is he the one who is fighting corruption, or is he the master of the corruption, whose  name is mentioned in all parts of the world? It feels like the group of bandits formed an criminal organization  and  called it “a state”.  Meanwhile, Tofug Yagublu’s posts  asserts that the only way out of the situation are mass protests and rallies.

Ali Kerimli  of  PFP writes about the tragedy of  Elshan Abbasov, one of their party’s activists, whose  18 year old son died while serving in the army.

FB users widely shared the video and photo of Mehman Huseynov, who walked around the CEC wearing black mask, imitating the State Security Service forces. He jokes, that may be this will cause fear and respectively will increase the  sugar level in the blood of Mazahir Panahov, so he appeals to all his followers   also to come out wearing black masks.

Natig Jafarli of REAL reminds that seven years ago their party produced a 76 page long programme, where among other things they suggested to eliminate the institute of appointed heads of regional offices of  executive power and replace them witgh the elected representatives, while also changing the name of “rayon”  ( region) to “oba” ( village)  which elects its own head, “basqan” and has independence in many issues related to the region. Somebody should explain the government  that  appointed heads of executives are all corrupt and thieves- it is easy to prove simply looking at their salaries and their lifestyles. The arrests of couple of thise heads of executive will not resolve the issue, the appointed will never serve communities, as those whom they elected themselves.The President should know,  he concludes,  that true reforms are possible only by changing the legislation, the Constitution and the governance philosophy! By repeating on AZ TV “ reforms, reforms” ,  replacing the cadres and appointing the MPs he will achieve nothing.

Natig Jafali as well as Ilgar Mammadov with the reference to his experience share the information on election falsification in the 17 Yasamal- Binagadi_ Garadagh  constituency, where he ran as a candidate. Jafarli asserts that of 37 precincts 4 were the closed ones ( prisons and military base) , which votes were  aggressively writen to the ruling party YAP candidates. He writes that they added 1672 votes to the totally unknown YAP candidate – and  this number is actually the difference between the votes in the signed and sealed protocols they had in hands, on the one hand, and the votes shown on the web site of the CEC- on the other.

The FB users widely share an information about opening a case against the victim of attack – an observer and human rights lawyer, the daughter of a politician and economist Gubad Ibadoglu, Jale Bayramova, and signed the petition in her defence.

February 22, 2020