Thursday, February 23

Vice Presidency for your own, intimidation for others

So the news of Mehriban Aliyeva, the wife of current president of Ilham Aliyev being appointed first VP traveled fast and for many has been a matter of ridiculing

It is pretty easy system- you are from the family, you get pampered, you get to do what you want, but if you are not... Then it is a whole other story. 

Just like the story of Netherlands based video blogger Ordukhan Babirov whose family members have been detained and questioned over the blogger's political activities outside of Azerbaijan. 

Or the story of Germany based rapper Jamal Ali. 

Or the story of 100 something political prisoners. 

Or like the stories of recently detained and sentenced to administrative detention activists: Rahim Shaliyev, Amil Mammadzade, Elchin Ismayilli, Farasat Ahmadov, Elvin Behremov and Namig Abbasaliyev. 

Or like the stories of so many others whose names we don't know. 

Yes, it is good to be part of the Aliyev family and be untouchable. 

Tuesday, February 21

It all stays in a family

In TV series Sopranos, there is a line when Tony speaks to Christopher Moltisanti, the cousin of Tony Soprano’s wife and part of his inner circle: “Blood. You’re going to lead this family into the 21st century."

I wonder what was the conversation Mehriban Aliyev had with her husband Ilham Aliyev before he broke the news that he was going to appoint her as Azerbaijan's first VP? 

Maybe Ilham Aliyev watched Sopranos, and maybe he even used that sentence. 

But that was a movie, Azerbaijan and the appointment is real life.

Aliyev said his beautiful (well, he did not actually say beautiful) but he did say, determined and dedicated and lots of other pretty words about his wife while presenting her to his "comrade minions" at the "security" meeting today (February 21, 2017). 

She was nuanced when she delivered "thank you love" speech. 

And so it was made official- Azerbaijan was run by a family (first father, then son- you know the story) but now it is run by a family where all its current member are alive and well. We should be expecting another appointment to the second VP position. It could be Aliyev Junior, or perhaps not yet. It could be one of the daughters or maybe the husband of one of the daughters. 

At this point, it does not really matter who gets to occupy the position of second VP because no matter who that person is going to be, Azerbaijan has just changed to a royal family type of thing in what already looked like a monarchy.