Center for National and International Studies
The nature of ongoing changes and opposition’s participation in elections continue to be discussed. The FB users shared the posting by the Russian citizen of Azerbaijani origin Farkhad Akhmedov, who analyses in details the current political state of affairs in Azerbaijan, stresses necessity of reforms, criticizes traditional opposition and calls (after the president Aliyev) for the creation of a new, constructive opposition. The activist and opposition figure Hikmet Hacizade writes with some irony: “The author suggests to replace the uneducated and old MPs by the young and well dressed ones. As if the problem of the country is the parliament filled with the uneducated people. ..He is in fear. He does not say a word about the current system, which simply robs the population, persecutes its rivals in business, politics and art. And he calls those who protest it – “a revanchist opposition”. There is nothing in this article which would show how to stop this robbery and persecutions, there is not even a call for that. Fear, fear and only fear is felt in the article.. I regret…”. The other female FB user comment: “ I think the strong opposition is formed in the strong state with an independent authorities, but ours are totally dependent on Kremlin. It is afraid and does not respect an opposition and the people, it is left behind in the 20th century and is not relevant to the current historical period and does not want to notice the ongoing global changes”. The journalist Chingiz Sultansoy suggests that this is not fear, but simply expression of Aliyev’s government’s point of view. “…He describes the parliament as an institution, while this is a mere simulation, or just a balagan, imitating the parliament. He suggests “to re-brand the ruling party, reform the ruling apparatus, and to get rid of the cadre ballast” etc. But one cannot expect anything different from such a person. The good thing that he is a not keeping silence anymore. The other thing is his motivation: is it the wish of changes, emanating from understanding that everything is bad, and cannot last forever, or simply desire to occupy the seat in the new parliament?” Hikmet Hajizade made another comment, that “ Something is definitely going on: even the billionaires started to speak out”.
The FB users continue to share and ridicule the statements of the MPs. One MP stated that those students whose marks are medium are the potential terrorists. Adil Ismayilov ( the independent lawyer) in turn stated that those students who could hardly get the lowest marks are potential MPs.
FB users also comment with irony statements of various people, such as the theatre or movie actors , about their intention to run for the new parliament, stressing that the parliament should consist of professional politicians or activists.
In general the topic of upcoming elections continue to be actual. The FB users share the news, that except for the National Council, all the other known as opposition parties ( Musavat, Umud, REAL) do not boycott and will participate in the parliamentary elections on the 9th February 2020. As Toplum TV reports REAL’s party leader Ilgar Mammadov announced creating a bloc/coalition with the independent candidates in the parliamentary elections. Musavat will announce the list of its candidates in the end of the week. According to Meydan TV and on the basis of National Council’s statement, the decision to boycott the elections was made due to the absence of even minimal conditions to conduct fair and free elections in the country.
FB users continue to keep in the centre of attention the state of health of the human rights defender hit by the car Oktay Gulaliyev. They share appeal to the public to raise funds for the continuation of his treatment, with the comments that Heydar Aliyev Foundation ( HAF) is stopping its support. The situation revealed unexpected protection of the HAF by the prominent lawyer Aslan İsmayilov who has said that people’s blaming the HAF is unjustified and is the result of intrigues.
Ali Kerimli appealed to the public to participate in the charity event in the Musavat headquarters on the 13 December with the fundraising purpose to continue treatment of Oktay Gulaliyev, who is still in coma condition.
The rating of Azerbaijan in the report by the Committee for Protection of Journalists ( CPJ) is widely shared in the social networks. The report informs about 6 journalists, who are behind the bars in the country: Afghan Mukhtarli, who collaborated with Meydan TV; editor of the site “Xəbər 44” Araz Guliyev; founder of the site “Kend.info” Elchin Ismayilli; the head of the website “Reallıq.info” Ikram Ragimov; Polad Aslanov, head of the Xeberman website, and Zia Asadli, regional correspondent for the Azadlig newspaper.
The situation with investigation of the murder of the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia remains the subject of the FB comments and postings.Tofig Yagublu of Musavat, former political prisoner, is posting the publication of APN- the agency of political news-called the “Malta Gate” of Ilham Aliyev ( by Andrei Kondratiyev) with comments on his timeline:” The investigation of the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia has passed to a new and decisive stage. The circle around president Aliyev, his family and oligarchs is narrowing down. It is clear, that Europeans understand now, that the president’s anti-European hysterics at his Baku State University speech is caused by this investigation”.
The former graffiti prisoner the youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov comments on the article of Farkhad Ahmedov, with strong criticism discrediting the millionaire’s semi-opportunist recent activisation. He writes, that such capitalist like him and his counterpart in Turkey Mansimov, who became afraid of giving support to still being in coma human rights defender Oktay Gulaliyev, will be active only until their own material interests allow, and the opposition should be ashamed that such people, who will never rise to the true political struggle, are expressing their political views and give advises to Azerbaijan political class. The candidate to the municipal elections -the youth leader and a blogger, former political prisoner Mehman Huseynov appeals to his constituency Garachukhur and Yeni Guneshli- the Baku districts- to support his candidacy for the municipal elections, so to put an end and to punish the arbitrary rule of the corrupt, airhead and not serving its constituency bureaucrats. People commented on the information by Haqqin.az that the head of municipality of Amirajan settlement near Baku, the ruling party member Rafael Jafarov promoted to the candidates of the municipal elections on the 26th December 2019 eight of his relatives- the son, the daughter, two brothers, two sisters, a niece and a nephew. One FB user commented: “ He forgot his grandmother”.
The REAL activist and a scholar Erkin Gadirli announced that he will run for the parliamentary elections, but understanding the controversy related to these elections, he added that he will refuse his mandate in 4 cases: 1. If the monitoring mission of OSCE gives a negative opinion, 2. If there is a carousel or ballot stuffing at my electoral district, 3. If the top commander’s votes of the military bases will be used for my candidacy 4) and if the protocols with the number of votes will be falsified in my favour. “ If sincerely, I do not expect the 2,3,4 take place. Probably, those who says that my seat is already prepared there, rely on that. But the first case I consider more serious.”, adds Gadirli. He also mentioned, that the practice if ballot stuffing is possible only when the voters do not come to the polling stations to vote and he appealed to the electorate all to come to vote in February parliamentary elections.
Tofig Yagublu, who unlike the rest of Musavat joined the boycott by the National Council, explained his move by comparison of the current elections to the national dish bozbash, cooked with increasingly poor quality, where in the end of all ingredients only water is left.. “Like in bozbash, where nothing is left except for the water, there is nothing left but the name in the institute of elections. So what, if you prefer that- bon appetite! Just do not forget to wipe your mouth after you finish.”
FB users widely discuss with indignancy the case of domestic violence of two parents against their underage children. The citizens of Sabunchi district of Baku, originally from Agjabedi region, father Khagani and stepmother Nurana Akperovs regularly beaten up and tortured their two underage sons. He was arrested under the charges of article 127.2.2, 133.2.3, 133.2.4, while she is under police surveillance.
The tragic case of a young electrician, who died while fixing the electric transmission lines was commented with sadness by Latafat Melikova ( Musavat activist), who told the background story. She with the support of many other FB users revealed the crisis situation and total ineffectiveness of the governance at the level of the electricity distribution to the population and how months of her complaints regarding the emergency conditions of that particular power transmission lines were totally ignored by the authorities.
The FB timelines were filled with the news and commentaries regarding the fire of the big covered market EuroHome.100 shop owners blocked the road Baku-Sumgayit to demand compensation for the losses. The people comment that this is a way to undermine power of Kamaladdin Heydarov, whom the market “ belonged to”. “ Just look,-says one FB user- which methods they apply in their internal struggle”. The journalist Nurlan Libre shows the indicative statistics of fires of the big Trade Centers in the country. “November 2013- Karavan with 600 shops, in 2014 – 6 markets/trade centers were burned – Karavan 200 shops, Sadarak 500 shops, Sheki bazar, Bina – 400 shops, Moskva, Sahil. In 2015 – Sadarak more than 400 shops. In 2019 two trade centers had a fire Diglas , Eurohome, 2020-?” The FB users comment: 2020- 125 seats- The Parliament, The other developed: The Trade Center of the National Parliament ( MMTM)”
The prominent journalist, Shahveled Cobanoglu writes on his timeline, that some tall man, who introduced him as academician, approached him in the street, recognizing him as an author of the popular publications. To the question of Cobanoglu “how are you?”, the academician replied: How can I be? The president has sent the old and not fit to be his assistant Ramiz Mehdiyev to be the head of the Academy of Sciences, and if we agreed to be his employees, what the great academics we are…”
December 12, 2019