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Center for National and International Studies
FB users share and comment on the statement of the president Aliyev about existing in the country “fair distribution of the oil resources”, discuss conditions and personal experience in the election campaign, including the “virtual carousel”, two-language booklet of Yadigar Sadyghli, role of Russia in the region and the world, destruction of the houses on Sovetsky street with the dwellers in them, the course of investigation of the crime against underage girl.
Running as a candidate in the parliamentary elections Yadigar Sadyghli appealed to his followers to participate in the virtual survey of preferences on the webpage of Demokrat.az in order “to stop “ virtual carousel”. He reported that while he was leading the virtual survey as compared to Novruzov, a rival in the Lenkoran district, dozens of people opened fake accounts and he increased his “ votes” from 12 to 16% . “ Lets stop this virtual carousel!” he appealed, asking his supporters to be more active. Yadigar Sadyhgli also posted earlier his decision to make his booklet in two languages- Azeri Turkish and Talysh ( which belongs to Iranian group of l l, languages). This caused a lot of controversy and some nationalistic comments, which he had to counter.
Journalist Seymour Hezi discusses the history of democratic movement and intra-opposition relations, as well as Russia’s role in the region. He comments:” The hatred of Zardusht Alizade( former Social-Democrat to Elchibey is like a chronic illness- how can one qualify otherwise him blaming Elchibey for the events of 20th January? Or blaming Popular Front party for the pogroms of Armenians on the 13th january? There is a substantial evidence already presented many times that Popular Front was saving Armenians, and if not them, there would be more blood, as KGB, unlike PFA, was interested in conflict and bloodshed” or
He comments also on Russia’s role in the region and the world.: “ Do you believe, that Russia one day stops supply the terrorist groups with weapons? Does not sell weapons to the states in conflict? And blackmails those, which do not buy Russian weapons? Does not establish its influence by putting two states against each other? Does not support Assad’s regime in Syria? Does not create comfortable conditions for president Aliyev to play with power as he wants? Does not interfere in elections in the other countries? Stopped involving in Abkhazia and Ossetia conflict? Does not take part in Karabagh conflict.?”
Ulvi Hesenli, the youth activist, who is running in the Herekat block in this election, appeals to his voters: “ Dear friends, let’s be more active in this election! We should get rid of this government, which is the source of only tragedies, we should save ourselves from it!”
People comment on the statement of president Aliyev about “ fair distribution of oil resources in the country”. Taleh Khasmammadov comments; “ this is not in the world where I and my family lives”. Gozel Bayramli of Popular Front writes; “ Nobody believes in these lies anymore, so instead of lecturing people, better give the report about billions stolen from them” Tofig Yagublu comments: “ Why are you surprised? He tells the truth- indeed money are divided fairly. It is just in Aliyev’s understanding of fairness- 95% of revenues goes to him an his family, while 5% — to the people” Tofig Yagublu also comments on the official’s statement that the Chinese heavy trucks are to blame for the quick destruction of the newly repaired roads in the country: “ They learnt how to put their blame on the other from the president. The head of the Board of the State Agency on Highways Saleh Mammadov asserts that the roads which were built with high corruption are destroyed because of the Chinese heavy trucks. As if these roads were built for the toy-cars. Do not steal, and make high quality roads, then none of the heavy trucks will damage them”. Seymur Hezi appeals to the FB users: “ Dear compatriots! Has any oil income ever reached you directly or indirectly?”
Natig Jafarli informs about the meeting with OSCE/ODIHR:” The main rival is not the governemnt, but the apathy of population. We need to reverse it- YAPma, REAllasdir” ( do not make it (YAPma), realize ( REALlasdir)!”
Journalist Nurlan Libre reports: “ Today near dozens of policemen came to Sovetsky district without any official court decisions, they destroy people’s houses by bulldozers while they are inside the houses”.The other journalist Seymur Hezi comments: “ When you ignore the destruction of your country, they easily destroy your homes”
Further, he describes the situation in the country as compared to the two poor of resources neighbors. He reminds about 600 dollars as child benefit in Armenia, while those, who raised this issue in Azerbaijan is repressed. People live in Georgia better and cheaper, and for average Azerbaijani citizen is more beneficial to have holidays in Borjomi ( resort in Georgia), than in Guba ( resort in Azerbaijan). Even the poorest citizens go to medical treatment to Iran. Those, who want to study- goes to Turkey, or to Europe.All the civil or political debatable issues are considered in the European Court of Human Rights. All who want jobs- are spread on the vast territory from Russia and Europe to China. “Now ,- he asks, -how true is their claim, that they are leaders of our country? If they are someone — then they are enemies, not the leaders”.He comments further the resistance to extend and introduce social benefits by the government of Azerbaijan saying that if it does not accept examples from Europe, may be it will do from the old Soviet “pal” Russia — as reflected in the newly announced by Putin package of social reforms.
Gubad Ibadoglu of ADR analyses the situation with ATA Bank. He stresses that since september 2019 the bank cannot return any of the deposits of its customers. The total deposits are 286, 4 mln manats. In connection with this a group of the customers complained to a few official structures, including the Central Bank, but so far did not get any result, moreover the lack of information only increases their concern.They are worried that they may lose deposits both in savings and current accounts. These customers asked Ibadoglu to make the issue public.He suggests that the government, first of all, ATA bank should make a statement, and the Central Bank should undertake immediate measures to remove concern of the customers. Otherwise, he warns, this will lead not only to the ATA Bank’s loss of customers, but will make a damage to the whole bank system in the country.
Tofig Yagublu speaks about divided nations: “ Looks like it is natural for all nations of the country to get united and to struggle for that. However, look at Taiwan and Hong Kong- this is the opposite. Chinese, who live there are against control of China. And there is only one reason of that — because China is anti-democratic, totalitarian country, that does not respect human rights. \This means that need in freedom stands higher than need for national unification. We should fight with greater devotion to our freedom”.
Investigative Journalist Khadija Ismayil gave an interview to BBC about the election campaign, including motivation of the candidates, deficit of legal defenders, the difficulties with media coverage of election campaign, sources of financing etc. She stressed, that she does not believe that the politicians who ran have any expectations that they may get a parliamentary seat. The politicians who run, do it with the purpose of exercise, or as a chance to expose themselves and communicate to their constituency. Those, who are not politicians, but are known `experts rely on their being apolitical technocrats and they they may get those seats. However, she considers, that there is no chance for any truly elected candidate to get the seat, because the statistical difference of two million people ( between the data of CEC and SSC) allows any vote manipulation. For the situation to change, there should be a rule of law. Nowadays, there is a rule of power- force, economic or political power. Only when there is a rule of law people will go to vote.
Altay Geyushov describes the process of misappropriation of the budget money in the country: “ The budget money for Formula One race is given to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the head of which is Azad Rahimov. He in turn gives it to the company Baku City Circuits, the head of which is Arif Rahimov, the son of Azad Rahimov. Such an amount cannot be trusted to the stranger. So father and son make big bucks.Then merely for the performance they have a few volunteers in the green shirts, so they will do some small work for free, not to allow too many expenses of the father and son, because they have so many to give to…”
Ali Kerimli, the leader of the PFP, makes a powerful statement on commemoration of the 30th year of the 20th January 1990, called Black January. He speaks about the importance of that date for the independence of the country. And although on the 19 October 1991 the country announced its independence, the resistance on the 20th January was crucial battle for it, as tens of thousands of Azerbaijani citizens unarmed heroically stood against the Soviet tanks, resulted in 146 deaths, 744 wounded, 841 arrested. He announces a peaceful marching to mourn the victims on the 20th january, calling for people to join them ,or go to the Alley of Victims independently.
Nurlan Libre reports: “ The parliamentary candidate Samed , my former professor, was taken to the police station only for the phrase “ the police force became corrupt”… Apparently, Vilayet bey ( the Minister of the Internal Affairs Vilayet Eyvazov- L.A) is fighting not the corruption, but those who speaks about it… What a country we live in…” he also posted the photo of the previous public rallies with him and other activists, entitling it, “All the opposition parties and movements on the 10th february 2020” ( the next after e-day- L.A).
Gubad Ibadoglu comments on the tourism industry in the country: “ The official webpage of the Ministry of Tourism of Azerbaijan is only in Azerbaijani language. The tourist, who wants to visit the country may understand that in order to do it, he/she need to learn our language first. While the Ministry of Tourism of Georgia website is only in English…How can one explain the logic of our bureaucrats?”
The journalist Seymour Hezi comments of some events in the social political life: “ The president did not acknowledge the local elections…Otherwise he would devote some time to it in his results of the year speech. They are taking it all so non-seriously, that do not remember it even as a performance… “ “ The president said, that our currency savings reached record high of 51 bln dollars. He needs to give more clear report on that… Does anyone still believe in this number?”
Ordukhan Babirov, an activist in exile, reminds: “ If you do not demand your rights, this dynastic regime will oppress and humiliate you by all means!”
Natig Jafarli, based on his participation in election campaign activities, concludes, that this is the first time in the last 15 years, when voters show enthusiasm about it. he mentions, that partly itis due to the fact of 2 mln voters who appeared in these 15 years, and partly thanks to the activities of his party REAL and 2 years of the advocacy of his leader Ilgar Mammadov. He appeals to people to actively participate and come to the polling stations.
Altay Geyushov speaks about the uniquely distressing period of Azerbaijani history. “ The person, like Ata Abdullayev, whom, as the poet Sabir would say, nobody in other times would pass by without spitting on him, nowadays hopes to get votes as a candidate… There was no such a horrible period in the history of Azerbaijan”