Center for National and International Studies



The FB users continue to share and comment on  Turkey, Russia, NATOrelations in Syria, post-election situation, human rights, political prisoners, coronavirus, critically react to the statement of the economist Vusal Gasimli, discuss the speech of Aliyev in Tovuz region, comment on confirmation of the results of falsified elections by the Constitutional court, analyze situation with the national banks, share and comment the award by the US government to the lawyer Shahla Humbatova.

Reacting to coronavirus, economic expert and leader of the ADR movement Gubad Ibadoglu writes that publicizing their movements  demand to close the schools was a success, as this week the government closed all kindergartens, schools and Universities. He also suggests not to stop at this measure, but do a follow up and continue undertake measures on defending population from the virus at schools. He discloses the budget finances for an education system ( purchase of equipment, devices, repair, construction, improvement of sanitary conditions , disinfection etc)  for 2020 -919,7 mln manat – and concludes that the government has enough funds to provide for the effective protection from the virus. He suggests, that Ministry of Education discloses the finances they have for all these purposes, and that parents official and non-official organizations to keep this process under tight monitoring and control.

The oppositioncontinue to argue and discredit rival parties and groups within its camp. Seymur Hezi of PFP  making a reference to the post by Natig Jafarli of REALcomments, that Jafarli himself revealed the scenario on elimination of opposition by means of elections. Hezi suggests that scenario was the following: “The conduct of early elections, where National Council participates too, but their votes are falsified, while REAL and some of their associates receive 10-15 mandates. They also declare that the elections were democratic, and that the “marginal” opposition ( National Council) did not get any votes. This way they help to create a positive image of the authorities internationally and turn into a pocket opposition, and spend their energy on being allowed to the parliament via falsified process. Those in opposition who protest, are being suppressed, but internationally this caused hesitation, which is considered a victory for the authorities. To destroy the social basis of opposition, the “parliamentary opposition’ comes out to the scene  as  a  new “ civilized” force and together with the government try to convince that people are not ready for democracy. Why, he continues, this scenario did not realize? Because Popular Front and National Council knew about this in advance and were not planning to participate either in the regular or early elections. So the authorities thought that if the opposition was not destroyed why did they need the other ones in the parliament? And did not find the answer..”

Ordukhan Babirov, an activist in exile, posts the photo of new Azerbaijani ambassador to the Netherlands delivering the credentials to the king Alexander and is ridiculing his humiliating posture. He calls it symbolic and compares it to the humiliation of the country by the cronies of Ali-Pashayev’s clan in the international arena, and they call it| “making Azerbaijani known in the world”.

Ali Kerimli and Gozel Bayramli, opposition leaders of PFP, comments on the date of explosion of the last office of the Popular Front Party. It has been 6 years since the office on the Talat Shikhaliyev street was exploded. The doors of the previous  party’s office were weld by the government for 9 years. Gozel Bayramli recalls that after explosion Ali Kerimli said that the Popular Front Party’s strength is not in the office, stone, or the walls- its strength in the consistent and sincere struggle along with people for their freedoms, justice, people’s needs and interests. She reminded that it is already the 7th attempt of the authorities to deprive the party of its headquarters and that PFP continues to be the target of the Aliyev’s regime.

Experts- economists and activists actively respond to the statement made by the economist Vusal Gasimli, that Azerbaijan economy is immune even to the fall of the oil price lower than 30$.

Natig Jafarli of REAL comments that the role of Gasimli is not to create a rosy picture, but to try to tell the truth. He considers that Azerbaijan economic dependence is so primitive, that not only 30$, but even at the level of 35-40$ in 6 -7 months it will turn all upside down. He then brings statistics to show the country’s economic vulnerability. He shows that in 2019 with th oil price 69 dollars the oil revenues was 15 bln dollars. However if it falls to even 35 dollars that year the oil revenues will make only 7 bln dollars, with other income it will be in 2020 9 bln. With non-oil sector, the export will be 10-11 bln dollars. However, it is expeted that import will be 14 bln. Dollars, which means, we will have 4 bln of negative trade saldo. In addition, the fall of the oil price to 35 dolars will cause panic at the financial market and will led to additional pressure on national currency manat. He comments also on the statement of Gasimli, that there are 52 bln dollars the State Oil Fund and Central bank of Azerbaijan, that you have led country’s economy to that level, that the budgetis 60% dependent on oil sector – 50% direct transfers from SOFAZ, while 10% – taxes of the companies. There is also indirect dependence on the oil sector. The salaries of the state employees are paid from the SOFAZ transfers, and they pay 14% of the salaries for taxes, which return back to the budget. Similarly, the construction companies taxes return to the budget. So the direct dependence of the budget on the oil is 6)5, indirect- another 15%. He compares it with the wall, which the government use to more forward.. “ And what will happen, which the wall is over?@ – he asks.

Gubad Ibadoglu suggests that due to the greater risk of spreading the coronavirus in the closed type of institutes to declare a big amnesty to all political priosners soon. Alongwith that, the disinfection should be conducted in all prisons.

Seymur Hezi expresses his gratitude to the human rights defender Sahla Humbatova, who received a high award from the US government. You were punished for defending us, but not everything is over. We are very happy that you were awarded by this order.” He continues: Top U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Senator Ben Cardin Urge Azerbaijani President to Respect #PressFreedom…“It is our hope that your government will work to establish an open space for the media in keeping with Azerbaijan’s international commitments as a member of the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,” wrote the senators. “We also urge you to immediately lift all restrictions on Ms. [Khadija] Ismayilova.”

Taleh Khasmammov writes, that he was called by some “ the enemy of Turks” because he criticised Erdogan’soperation Spring Shield, so he blocked those FB users, but commented that this is a light answer, but the hard one will follow from the Turkish people themselves.

Ilkin Rustamzade writes on his timeline: Erdogan, who neither himself fought nor his son ever served in the army, compares himself to Ataturk and says, that “ we will make sacrifices after that too”…But he also licking Putin, because there is no way backwards. For the sake of preserving his power, he is predestined to humiliate his country before Russia”

Javid Gara, the youth activist, comments on coronavirus, that there is an experts’ opinion, that regardless of the level of the health system, the worst will be situation in the countries, where there is no trust of the citizens in their officials.

He also comments on the radio dialogue between the Turkish representative and European journalist, and on patient answers of the Turkish one to the unprofessional questions of the European journalist. One of such answers is: “ We do not deliberately send the refugees to Europe, we simply do not stop them anymore. Now there are millions of refugees in Turkey and if part of them wants to leave Turkey and go to the other countries-we do not stop them anymore.” Yes, indeed, Gara continues, let Europe not let them in – this is her right. This is not the curtains, this is a border. Europe should develop a long term strategy for the peace in the world. It should stop selling weapons, should make a transition to the disarmament, and wage an international struggle with corruption.”

İlkin Rustamzade, the youth activist, calls for the sober assessment of the refugee crisis and responses in Europe. He agrees that the tragedy of the refugees ir the tragedy of the whole humanity, but it should not influence political assessment. One should not forget that today majority of those, who give 1000 dollars to the Turkish smuggler and boarding the “boat of death”  10 years ago “were not involving in Syria’s politics”. Let say, that if something happens to Japanese- tsunami or other problem, any country will accept and integrate them immediately. However, those who are watching programs of Khoshgadam or Zaur ( Azerbaijani TV channels anchors) – will not be accepted by any country. Borderless world is our everybody’s contemporary dream, but today’s reality is different. It is easy to criticize Greece or Bulgaria, but imagine, that millions of those people, majority of whom are viewing the woman as a potential whore ( that’s what their religion tells them) are coming to Azerbaijan? Lets put the material aspect aside, what would be the reaction of the secular Azerbaijanis? Take into account, that the society is already irritated by certain behaviour of the Arab tourists here. It is easy to criticise from outside, but it is not logical for the Europeans who  survived two bloody wars and Communist experience during last 100 years, and were able to build civil and progressive society to put their societies under risk because of the war, which they did not start”

Tofig Yagublu of Musavat comments on the events in Syria. He stresses that this is a terrible tragedy for the population, the end to which is not seen in the nearest future. “The country turned into the place for war of various foreign powers. Each fighting country there found its own justification. But in fact, the explanation is simple. The truth is that when Syrian people came out against the  illegitimate, corrupt and authoritarian  rule of Bashar Assad, who received the power as a present from his father- dictator Hafiz Assad, he instead of leaving power, decided to defend the inherited from father regime with the help of the army– and that’s when it turned into a tragedy.”

Nurlan Libre reports, that he came to the court of Appeals hearing on the case of the opposition activist Mammad Ibrahim. But he was said there, that the court hearing started earlier than announced. “ There was only Ministry of Justice left, which did not yet pull my legs, and now it did it too”

The Fb users comments with indignancy that the PFP activist Fuad Ahmadli by the decision of the Supreme Court to be released from the serving the rest of his sentence in prison. He has already spent 4 years in prison as a political prisoner. Nurlan Libre, Gozel Bayramli and other activists commented on this decision. Bayramli, the deputy chair of the Popular Front Party, explains by persistence of the authorities in keeping the activist behind the bars, because he is indeed very successful and talented in organizing the young people and mobilizing them for protest actions, she called him” the most intellectual, courageous and enlightened person” and it is not by accident that it was him, who the authorities keep in prison. But “ those, who declare war to our young people are predestined to failure|, she concludes.

Natig Jafarli, an economist and REAL activist, comments on the decline of the savings of the country’s population. He mentions that from the November 2019 until 1st of February 2020 the amount of savings of population reduced by 222 mln 625 thousands manat, with savings in foreign currency decreasing and explains it by the decrease of the interest rates. But increase in local currency savings is observed because of the higher interest rates and insurance of all savings. However the 4th  of March is the date of the savings insurance expiry, but there is no any official statement about it. All this going on against the background of the fall of the world oil price,  and he predicts, that if the government will wait until the Summer by then the 10-15% depreciation of the currency is inevitable. He considers that during these years the government designed a primitive economic model, which is exceedingly vulnerable to the externa shocks and dependent on oil to the dangerous degree  and turned us into its hostages. If tomorrow the term of the savings insurance will not be extended, people will start to withdraw their savings especially in local currency. But this will be a serious shock to the hardly functioning and artificially supported banks. Banks anyway are playing a very primitive role in the economy of the country- that of cashiers- taking deposits and giving consumer credits.  But in 21st century banks play role of investment centers, or funds, but not the cashiers. The  President always says, that the number of commercial credits are low in our country, but this is the consequence, not the reason. The reason is that in this country investor does not rely on the business climate, the laws are not working, the courts are not fair, there is a merger of bureaucrats with business, that’s why we do not have investors, but traders, who buy today, then speak to the bank, and with the help of the consumer’s credit sells it tomorrow and earns an income – and that’s all. And the blame is not on business people, but on the system and the government who is managing economy by force, by orders.”

Tofig Yagublu writes with humour on his timeline: | Dunya Miyatovich, the human rights commissionaire of the Council of Europe addressed the Minister of Interior Vilayet Eyvazov the letter, where she condemned the cases of state violence during the peaceful protest rallies in Azerbaijan. Vilayet Eyvazov in an adequate response tore it apart in small pieces, threw it in the garbage basket, and then ordered to beat up the postman and put him under administrative arrest for 30 days.

The FB users actively share and discuss the confirmation of the result of the falsified parliamentary elections of the 9th February  by the Constitutional Court.

Yadigar Sadyghli of Musavat ironically comments: “And now they will say, that the Constitutional court also did not listen to Ilham Aliyev, having supported the reactionary branch instead|”

Nurlan Libre the journalist posted the news about Constitutional Court in a capital letters.

Seymur Hezi the journalist and the activist of the PFP analyses the Constitutional Court decision in a few statements:

1.The composition of all Constitutional Court is appointed by the president Aliyev personally.

  1. All members of the Court are former judges or prosecutors and experienced in corruption
  2. They are smart enough to understand that reforms will swipe all of them and the president Aliyev ( Corruption is not the indicator of lack of intelligence, but that of integrity)
  3. There is no need or basis in the government to follow anybody’s order, except for the President.
  4. Both branches- reformist and the conservatives- are appointed by the president Aliyev.
  5. If Ilham Aliyev did not want, this Court would not confirm results of the elections.
  6. I do not know who influences Ilham Aliyev, but he definitely influences personally the Constitution Court.
  7. Why would be Aliyev interested in reforms, if when started from below he would be the last victim, and when started from above- he will be first one of them.
  8. These confusing versions of someone creating obstacles for Aliyev, who is not interested in any reforms, have only one purpose- to deliver him of responsibility.
  9. Those who will find force in themselves not to be deceived by this imaginary “branch resisting reforms” will join common struggle of all people against the system.

Altay Geyushov ridicules the decision of the Constitutional Court referring to the judge Nasib Shukurov, the professor of the department of law of the State University, who could not even correctly write and pronounce legal terms.

Natig Jafarli reports about decision of REAL party related to Erkin Gadirli in regards accepting or not the MP mandate. The party decided to approve the mandate, but with the testing period of one year.

The Fb users comment on the speech and behaviour of the president Aliyev in Tovuz region, when he refused to sit at the luxurious armchair and preferred a simple chair.

Natig Jafarli of REAL considers PR very important in politics, but sometimes it may turn against the subject, like in case of president Aliyev, who mentioned the issue of the armchair, but this reminds immediately that himself he has been sitting in the ”armchair“ for 17 years.

Tofig Yagublu: “ As if he is very simple, down to earth leader… Having illegally occupied the government “chair” and fixed it with the screwdriver for years ahead Ilham Aliyev during the trip to Tovuz region refused of the armchair and sat at the simple chair. This is the same Aliyev, who bought for himself and his wife multimillion wise personal airplanes. The same Aliyev, whose name is mentioned in the international corruption scandals… “

Gubad Ibadoglu writes about the prices of masks which in the country has risen in contrast with the other countries, where the population is provided with masks for free.

The Fbusers share and congratulate Shahla Humbatova, who received the US government award “Courageous Women”.  Hikmat Hajizade shared Statuskar quoting Shahla who informed that while the Armenian officials all came to greet the Armenian woman recipient of the award, nobody, even the Azerbaijani ambassador came to the award ceremony.

Altay Geyushov ironically comments: “ First lady Melaniya Trump awarded our human rights lawyer Shahla Humbatova in Wash. DC.. And I suppose our government will award the woman who beat up the observer ( Jale Bayramova – l.A.)  at the polling station”…

March 6, 2020

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