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Center for National and International Studies
The FB users continue to discuss the developments in the government structures. The decision of the 83 year old singer, loyal member of the ruling party and MP Zeyneb Khanlarova to move to the US still causes numerous comments. Many note that she in fact moved there 8 years ago and established the charity foundation in New York called after her name. The journalist Javanshir Hasanli writes:”… She could have established the foundation in Baku. And even in Khizi ( the small settlement near Baku) and not only in Brooklyn” He then continues, that her income from property in NY reaches 10,000 dollars per month, which is much higher than her MP salary, but she yet stays as an MP and receives this salary.
FB users also widely discuss the arrest by the National Security Services of the head of the executive power of Agstafa region Nizameddin Guliyev and his deputy Ramiz Tatarov. They share an information, that he was arrested during reception of a bribe, that he is a relative of the bureaucrat in the higher echelons of power in Baku and that the reason of his arrest is not convincing, as the whole system is corrupt. They also comment on the fact that he misappropriated hundreds of bank cards while in the previous position of the head of executive power of Goranboy region. Not long after that the information spread about arrest of another regional bureaucrat — the head of executive power of Yevlakh city Goja Samadov.
The internet source Elat TV prepared a video report about the citizens of the village Khanlarkend of Saatli region, who one by one speak before the camera, telling their story of how local bureaucrats since1997 did not let them use the land plots which were given them by the president’s decree. They spoke about corruption, unemployment, poverty and arbitrary rule of the local heads of executives.
Some activists share the information that they are registered or planning to register as candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Ilkin Rustamzade, leader of the youth movement NIDA, a former political prisoner, shares his experience of applying to the police with the purpose to lift limitations related to his prison sentence and suggests that if he is successful he will run as the candidate too. Yadigar Sadikhov, of Musavat party, also registered as a candidate and wrote about it in the context of the complex relations with his party. He also commented jokingly on the recent arrests of the local bureaucrat with the name “Goja” , which means “old”- that people with the names Goja should be careful, as in the course of replacing of “old” cadres by new ones declared by the president, they might be targets of this campaign too. “ Now all the heads of executive power are intensely looking for the hidden cameras in their offices”
The lawyer Alesger Ahmedoglu noted, that “ it appeared that the arrested had two relatives working in the government in Baku, moreover – in the justice sector. Of course, there is no collective responsibility in such cases, but due to the ethical reasons- one of them is an investigator on the crimes of corruption, and the other is a judge – they will be probably be fired from their positions”.
Altay Geyushov comments on the propagandist clichés of Azerbaijan’s government that “the West is collapsing, while Azerbaijan is stable”. He says, that this is obvious that it is Azerbaijan which is collapsing, as everything deteriorates- it is torn by corruption, poverty, moral degradation, religious and ethnic divides, inequality, lack of rule of law. In addition there is no an opposition force, which would unite everyone in the struggle. One would think that the parliamentary elections could be the step towards changing the situation, but the timing of its appointment causes serious doubts in it. The situation with Bar Association also hints that we should not hope for the soonest establishment of the rule of law. All this indicates that the country is rolling down. But Geyushov attracts readers’ attention to the fact, that while many say, that main supporter of the regime is Russia, in fact, no less supportive of it is the West. “ Now I am interested- is the West so naïve that does not see what’s happening in Azerbaijan? Or the country’s ultimate transformation into a “ blood dish” responds to the West’s strategic interests? I do not believe in either assumption, but I really need an explanation. Why do you protect this system with such a rigor? What are the reasons? Now based on the Malta events one can guess that their reputation and interests were touched, but it is obvious, that the Western media tries hard to avoid mentioning our elite’s names. They mention them only in cases, where it is not possible to avoid it, and still try to soften it as much as possible. What’s going on? Why do you give support to those who lead this country to collapse? Please, explain. May be, I am missing something!”
Natig Jafarli of REAL comments on the recent arrests of the heads of executive power. “The institute of executive power in the regions should be eliminated. Instead there should be only elected municipalities and self-governing bodies. As the first step there should be the Law on Status of Executive Power be adopted clearly delimitating their responsibilities and powers. While Azerbaijan left the USSR, it is not stopped being Soviet- today the head of executive power feels like the First Secretary in the past. I am sure even these bosses themselves are not aware where do their powers start and where-end. The current system is created so, that the regional heads of executive feel themselves the masters of the region whose major task is to keep it quiet and stable. But stability is not a value, it is actually the opposite – it leads to the society’s rotting. There are no good or bad executive bosses, the laws or the rules might be good or bad, that’s it”.
Ilkin Rustamzade of NIDA movement comments on the photo of the arrested executive boss.” Look how confidently he sits. You know, why? Because he is innocent before the system. He was collecting bribe, passing share up, may be hidden some, but they will get it back from him anyway. The head of executive power is not worrying, because he knows for sure, that his case will be investigated by the deeply involved in dirty deeds investigator, which he will pass to the corrupt judge in the court. Then, in the worst case he will be given 1-2 years in corrupt prison, where the prison chief will arrange him comfortable conditions. But in the best case, he will be put in the prison hospital to spend time in one of the comfortable villas. That’s why he is not worried.
Ali Kerimli of Popular Front called on people to discuss the reasons of arrests of the heads of executive. “ The official reason that this is for corruption is not taken seriously by anyone. People are interested in real reason. If the arrests were for corruption, then all regions will be left without heads of executives, while our state- without the government … But do not worry, there are no such prospects here… So who has an idea? Come up and tell”.
Gozel Bayramli deputy chair of Popular Front and former political prisoner, comments on the arrests: “ The arrested deputy of head of executive Tatarov has been the head of trolls in Agstafa region. He has been always very aggressive and merciless to the members of our party in the region. In 2014 near 50 people attacked the house of my University friend, whom I visited and demanded that I immediately leave the region. Certainly, neither myself, nor Nureddin Mammadli left the house, so all night the house was surrounded by police. Ramiz Tatarov even put all possible pressure up to sacking from job family members of my University friend, whose house we stayed. There is no meanness left, which Tatarov has not done in Agstafa for the sake of ambitions and career. YAP is destroying the country and makes our people in the region suffer thanks to such representatives as Nizameddin and Ramiz. The only way out- is to get rid of this regime”.
FB users shared and commented on the statement by the ex-head of presidential administration so called grey cardinal, who was recently fired-Ramiz Mehdiyev, that “ appointment of the accidental people to government positions may create serious problems” One of the readers comment: “ Is this a warning?”, while writes the other FB user writes; “The number one problem in this country is yourself”.