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Azerbaijan – developing “democracy” or prosperous authoritarianism

Azerbaijan – developing “democracy” or prosperous authoritarianism

Azerbaijan – developing “democracy” or prosperous authoritarianism
January 26
15:41 2017

Today public policy of Azerbaijan Republic authorities bases on the slogan “Democracy is our deliberate choice, our way”. And it was stressed in speech devoted to “Republic day” celebration by Ilham Aliev, president Azerbaijan Republic on May 27. It is known that, basis of any democracy is a balance of rights and duties, which bases on priority of person, rather than state. It`s that very thing, which called the spirit of democracy. Just on its` basis might build the constitution, which ensures authorities division, multi-party system, freedom of speech and publicity. But, as the practice shows, it very difficult to realize these foundations in the “democratic” Republic of Azerbaijan. As the other region`s national states, the Republic didn`t escape economic and social contradictions, authoritarian, paternalistic and corrupt regime. This all disturbs PR-campaign deployed by Baku. Nevertheless, Republic authorities aspire to keep the illusion of press freedom. But this press freedom is completely controlled and limited by means of various manipulations, which includes not only legal methods. The report of the “Reporters without borders” international human rights organization, called “World Press Freedom Index 2016” shows that Azerbaijan is in the 163th position out of 180. Such cases as harassment and intimidation, attacks and criminal persecution of reporters and human rights organizations became very typical. In 2015 “Reporters without borders” reported that Internet bloggers and independent political commentators suffer from authorities` cruelest harassment. The murder of editor of opposition journal “Monitor”, Elmar Guseinov, was not uncover. There is no result of murder investigation of publicist Rafik Tagy. In 2012 members of security service of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) maimed famous journalist, Idrak Abbasov, which made a video of forced eviction and buildings demolishing in the interests of company. A great number of opposition activists and April demonstration participants are in imprisonment places now. In particular, the question is about Hadjama Ismailova, who was put into prison after making series of publications about family`s prosperity of Il`ham Aliev and his milieu. Shi was imprisoned for 7,5 years.

However, let us consider property question in detail. Ilham Aliev, president of Azerbaijan Republic is a head of the most influential and rich clan in the country. According to some information, president`s property exceed the worth $ 46, 7 billion. Leila and Arzu Alievs own a real estate in Dubai, which registered on their name. The aggregate value of their real estate is $217 million. Pashaevs are offspring of Alievs` clan. Azerbaijan president`s wife, Mehriban, came from this family and also owns the company in British Virgin Islands (BVI), Rosamund International Ltd. Pashaev family rules the Pasha Holding conglomerate, including Pasha Bank, Pasha Insurance, Pasha construction и Pasha Travel. This family owns local TV-company “Lider TV”, also produce cosmetics brand “Nargiz”. The next influential person is Geidarov Kemaleddin. He holds the post minister of state of emergency. Geidarov`s capacities and powers are so large that people call him “minister of all important matters”. Kemaleddin Geidarov being the heard of customs committee had built a big business empire, including all spheres ranging from white sturgeon caviar to construction. That is to say, we can confirm that the regime of acting president is very strong because of the well organized system of personal and clan loyalty. Moreover, some opposition representatives have solid incomes in that spheres which are controlled by supreme clan. In experts opinion, the result of developing of such a system is a high level of corruption, whereas, it`s very difficult to control state expenditures in such conditions. Who should do this? Should business partners do this? Independent courts in the country do not exist anymore de facto. As to “free” inner market, it is monopolized as well as authorities.

Thus, republic independent public organizations representatives and mass media in the beginning of January 2017 sent to members of PACE a collective letter. This letter calls for estimating of facts of corruption in Azerbaijan. In particular, the question is about former vice-president of PACE, Luka Volont, who is accused of taking bribes sum for € 2.39 million from Azerbaijan delegates El`han Suleimanov and Muslim Mamedov. According to Suleimanov and Mamedov request, Luka Volont must frustrate the resolution on Azerbaijan political prisoners in 2013. Nevertheless, such a unification of political and economical elite into a conglomerate had leaded to a total control of political, economical and social spheres of the state. It is impossible to get to economical elite without political protection of main clans and vice versa. The very system of authorities’ relations allowed building present regime of an authoritarian nature. This regime formed completely after the constitutional referendum, hold in September 26, 2016. 29 corrections were made in the country constitution, all of them were approved. There were changes concerned with human rights, functioning of authority institution. This project widens the authorities of president, allows him to appoint first vice-president, vice-presidents, dissolve the parliament. Moreover, the term of office of a president had been extended from 5 to 7 years. President has a power to declare out of turn election of the head of state. Also constitution has a correction providing a possibility of dissolution of parliament. Other correction concerned with human rights and itemizes rights and freedoms insured before. Thus, “human dignity should be protected and respected”, at the same time “human rights shouldn`t be abused”. And in that way developing “democracy” or prosperous Thus, institutions of democracy, being on the paper are already not exist anymore as well as the democracy.

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Konstantin Akulov

Konstantin Akulov

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