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Center for National and International Studies
The FB users continue to discuss the self-dissolution of the parliament and extra-ordinary parliamentary elections, which were appointed to the early February 2020, decision various forces on boycott or participation and relations between the major opposition parties.
The prominent lawyer and civil activist Alesger Ahmedoglu writes about the protest speech by one of the founders of the ruling party Arif Ragimzade, who was first not given a floor by the chair of the parliament Ogtay Asadov, but the latter gave it to him after few insistent attempts. Arif Ragimzade attracted attention to the contradiction in the formula of the decision on self-dissolution which implies that the parliament was inadequate and lagging behind the reforms as a result of their own activities. Ogtay Asadov in turn responded, that if this was true then they would not be able to adopt 1,700 resolutions in 4 years. “Indeed, — comments Ahmedoglu- when reading the published transcripts of the parliamentary meetings one gets shocked. The Milli Majlis sometimes in half a day debates and adopts 30 resolutions with the speed of the lighting!” Natig Jafarli of REAL comments: “This cannot be not a legal foundation for the dissolution, they simply cannot name the real reasons for that. How can they say, that the parliament has turned into a grave of dead people long time ago, that each oligarch had 5-6 MPs there, and when now the oligarchs are sacked, these MPs are left without “a master”? They cannot say that this is because half of the deputies were people of the “ grey cardinal” ( Ramiz Mehdiyev). And now, with this artificial formulas they make themselves the target of ridicule.”
The cadre changes in the government, along with rapprochement with Russia is widely commented on and criticised by the social media users. Elshan Hasanov, human rights defender, speaks about changed in the presidential administration and sacking of the grey cardinal Ramiz Mehdiyev: …” as a result of the many years of the presidential administration’s foreign “ policy” we are now in the highest dependence on Russia on domestic issues, as many laws and prohibitions such as declaring NGOs as 5th column of the West, closing down foreign media outlets etc. were copy-pasted from Putin. This dependence reached such a high level, that it is Putin, not people should approve the highest political position in the country. And the bringing the country to such as shameful condition is the activities of Ramiz Mehdiyev. In addition, he was awarded by the order, and when he dies- they probably will bury him on the alley of honoured citizens. It is very good, that he was sacked, but they, who has committed crimes for 20 years stealing peoples resources, intend to pass power to their children. They should held responsible for all this in courts, their place is in prison!”
A lot of discussions are caused by postings about opposition and its possible participation or boycott of snap elections. In particular, the leader of NIDA movement, former political prisoner Ilkin Rustamzade writes on his timeline: “I understand the difficulties which the PFP activists went through, I understand even the decision of not going to elections, as if they go, they will carry the major burden, but do not understand the laughter and humiliation of going there. Will we lose? So what? We have lost before…all has lost before, let us loose this time. But how come they are almost call people, who spent years in prison, the traitors? .. You say, that Ilgar Mammadov will go to the “mandate bargaining”? The other MPs did that ( such as Gudret Gasanguliyev, Igbal Agazade, Sabir Rusatmkhanli) but what did they achieve? The authorities will bury them the same way, if Ilgar Mammadov or Natig Cafarli decide to follow their paths. It is regretful, that in spite of such big problems which we face now, there is such a serious division among opposition. We could have a normal discussion of these issues without looking ridiculous in the eye of public. We could find a consensus. Instead we are spitting on our common interests. One thing is to die, but why to wheeze? Boycott means to die with the wheeze…” The other group, such as prominent opposition leader Tofig Yagublu of Musavat opposes those appeals: “ On the one hand, you say that the current Electoral code does not allow to conduct free and fair elections, so they will be falsified again. On the other hand, you say that we should participate in these elections and take over the power, and only then replace the bad electoral code with the good one. If the elections are falsified how are you going to take over the power, mister?”
Gubad Ibadoglu analyses the economic situation. He brings the comparative statistics of 5 star hotels in the country, stating that Baku city has the highest number of those ( 109), as compared to Paris ( 102), Moscow (39) Washington DC ( 20) etc. He writes, that it indicates that some part of the stolen oil resources is spent in the property market, also that a significant amount of resources for the international events are laundered here, because most of them belong to the country’s officials. For 2020 the budget for such events is 221,5 mln manats. Thirdly, it is an evidence of the unfair distribution of resources. There are hundreds of thousands of young people without housing, while few hotels are filled only from one international event to the other. Fourthly, most probably that not all of them provide service of 5 stars, but got their status due to corruption and bribery. And at last, the equal number of 5 star hotels and 2 or 3 star hotels ( total number is 112) si an evidence of poor conditions for tourism.. One night in the 52 hotels, as the survey showed this December , was 220 dollars. So sorry for the tourists who spent the might in Baku!”
The information about fortune teller and black magic man, whose services were widely used by the country’s bureaucrats and oligarchs has been discussed. The journalist Nadir Adilov comments on this: “We should give two slaps to ourselves after watching this video. First, because of what kind of uneducated people are governing us, secondly because in what conditions are we ourselves, if we allow such people to govern us!” Murad Adilov in his comments makes parallels with the Nicolas the 2nd and his fortune teller Rasputin, concluding that however Rasputin tried his black magic, he did not save the Tsar from the bad end.
FB users share with irony quotations from the officials and MPs of the country about the snap elections, such as statement by notorious MP Bahar Muradova, that “ We will win the seats in the new parliament again”, or president Aliyev’s : “ I hope, that youth will be very active in the upcoming parliamentary elections”. The youth leader Ilkin Rustamzade posted a humorous photo named “ The activist who heard about snap elections and the ruling party representatives” link
The activists, journalists and bloggers continue to share an information with the sign SOS -about the human rights lawyer Ogtay Gulaliyev, who was hit by the car and was being treated in the hospital in Turkey. They stress the urgency of help to the human rights lawyer, as the aid by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation will be stopped in a few days.
Natig Jafarli of REAL comments on his party activities: “In 2009 the law on a right for the initiative groups with 40,000 people to propose draft laws in the parliament was adopted. Our party did it and submitted a proposal with 3 draft laws, but it was rejected on the basis that there were no mechanisms providing their realization. But we managed to get one small victory – the parliament was forced to adopt a separate law about this Constitutional right, while yesterday the president signed it”.