Tuesday, March 3

"Major cause of Azeri March constitutional referendum revealed- opposition paper"

The following article appeared in BBC Monitoring- Former Soviet Union news.  

"Infighting and sharp strife over who will be the next president of Azerbaijan are believed to be the major reason for the unscheduled 18 March 2009 referendum, Azerbaijani opposition newspaper has said quoting its sources. The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) has proposed constitutional amendments that would remove the article barring the president from serving more than two consecutive terms, thereby paving the way for Ilham Aliyev's re-election in 2013. Prior to this decision, efforts were underway, according to the article, to set up a team for the country's first lady to become a president after 2013. However, the ruling NAP thwarted plans calculated for the first lady, initiating amendments to the constitution to clear all the legal obstacles for the incumbent president to run for the post in 2013. The following is the text of Maqsud Mahrizli, A. Aras report by opposition Azerbaijani newspaper Yeni Musavat on 26 February headlined "Vasif Talibov funds Boyuk Daya! q" and subheaded "Shocking reports about the brand new pro-government party. Secret battle is underway between the two new pro-government parties"; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

Possible motives behind unexpected referendum

One of the key and possibly the primary reasons behind the idea of the "unlimited presidency" that surfaced immediately after the 2008 presidential election was connected with the infighting among groups which reached the dangerous level. It is possible that very influential forces in the government camp were already preparing for the 2013 presidential election. If not changed, the valid constitution bans President Ilham Aliyev to nominate his candidacy in 2013 presidential election. This fact caused in-depth tension and division in the pro-government groups as well as in the ruling family.

"Many people thought that the next president would not be from the Aliyev clan but one of the Pasayevs, trying to have a deal with them. Those who are with the Aliyevs were working on the opposite side in fury and full of pretensions. Such a situation would have shattered the current authorities. If the president were delay, there would have em! erged deep cracks in his team and in the clan circles backing him..." This opinion belongs to an informed and influential person who agreed to speak to us over the issue in question. In his opinion, representatives of the "old guard" in the authorities, i.e., supporters of Heydar Aliyev were particularly anxious. They thought that the next president of the country would be the current first lady. These "old" representatives who are bearers of absolutely different culture, ideology, worldview and philosophy fear this perspective like death.

New faces involved in the authorities and those officials without a role in the "division of the property" were pretending to build a team for the first lady. The issue in question has more interesting aspects able to be the scenario of a sharp story.

Sister versus brother

Another Aliyev the daughter of the NAP [the New Azerbaijan Party] regime's founder, Sevil Aliyeva, had claims to power, showing openly and secretly her opposition to the current president. All these are not empty words; if we look back to recall one or two fragments known to wider public, it would be clear what is the attitude of respected Ms Sevil to current authorities and the president.

Two ministers and several high-ranking officials were jailed under the pretext of a coup, they were accused of disloyalty to Ilham Aliyev; attempted coup and a series of grave crimes and were sentenced to long terms in prison. However, Heydar Aliyev's daughter reacted unexpectedly. She described former health minister Ali Insanov, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison, a loyal friend of her father and denounced his arrest. Following this, she gave an open and public support to [former information minister] Sirus Tabrizli who revolted ag! ainst the NAP and shattered the camp of the authorities with his speeches.

In the meantime, Rafael Allahverdiyev, former mayor of Baku and fugitive from the current regime, was supported and praised by Sevil Aliyeva. And later...there emerged "a presentation crisis" while attending an opening of a boutique shop in Baku. Ms Aliyeva was introduced as "the sister of the president". But Sevil Aliyeva made a shocking correction without observing the protocol rules: "...Heydar Aliyev's daughter..."

Everything is crystal clear and obvious. Sevil Aliyeva does not hide her dissatisfaction with President Ilham Aliyev, who is surrounded by numerous external and internal foes, and her opposition to his government. With all these, she stimulated, heartened and instilled hope in many people.

The jailed ministers did not join the opposition parties namely for this factor and several dismissed and discredited representatives of "the old guard" were working o! n a project to create a political party with the daughter of Heydar Al iyev in the centre...According to information available to Yeni Musavat, one of the coordinator's of this project in big politics is the former aide of Heydar Aliyev, Eldar Namazov.

Mr Namazov was planning to join the 2008 presidential election with support of this circle and Sevil Aliyeva. However, the plan changed in the run-up to the midyear; "the last-ditch fight" against Ilham Aliyev was postponed by 2013 and everything was again oriented to that date by bringing it to a start position.

New party on the agenda

The party on the agenda now called Boyuk Dayaq [Great Support] party is one of the projects calculated to that date. However, Ilham Aliyev's referendum decision has significantly harmed both that project as well as remote plans. The secret palace opposition is downcast! This is not a mere statement; we have facts.

"Old guard" members, who counted on 2013 and Ms Sevil, are now in a hurry to Ilham Aliyev's support with (?Alp Aruz) tactics. In his turn, the coordinator of the project has transferred great political ambitions to the family plane: "The creator of the authorities is my father, my children also deserve shares from it..." What do you think of claims to the posts of speaker and the prime minister? Right! This is the reality! The news of "the brand new pro-government party" on the agenda is a part of an incomplete but still open project. The Boyuk Dayaq party is a response to the World of Democratic Azerbaijan Party ! (WDAP) of the Pasayevs created against the NAP and controlled by the "old guard". Anyway, in both cases, the NAP established by Heydar Aliyev is on target, therefore, there is resistance against both the WDAP as well as the second initiative of setting up the Boyuk Dayaq party.

The process of organizational issues for the WDAP, calculated for the Pasayevs, was seriously hindered by the NAP by removing the party leader, Mammad Alizada, from the post of chairman of the consultative council made up of the pro-government parties around the NAP, breaking the party into pieces.

They attracted Mirkazim Seyidov, who once was in the leadership of the WDAP, to the new project: "Actually, he was sent to the WDAP to disintegrate it; he was tasked to damage and disintegrate the organization set up for the first lady and this has happened." Under the plan, "supporters of Heydar Aliyev" would have been brought together in the brand new party by 2010 parliamentary! and 2013 presidential elections.

The source of finance o f the project is also of interest; according to our information, the funding for the Boyuk Dayaq party is from the "little land" Naxcivan. And the profile of the Family's prominent member, i.e., Vasif Talibov emerges behind the project.

Party against the Pasayevs

"The latest media reports are wide of the mark. The Boyuk Dayaq party is not for the Pasayevs but actually against them. There is a great battle there. However, it is slackening now. If Ilham Aliyev was not going to the referendum and expressed his position towards the unlimited presidency issue so quickly, the situation would have been different..." This opinion was also expressed by our reliable source. He claimed that the president was actually against the referendum: "However, he was obliged due to internal processes." Another intriguing aspect of the issue is that Mammad Alizada's WDAP has stepped up its activities following reports that Mirkazim Seyidov had founded the Boyuk Dayaq party.

We have precise reports that Mammad Alizada, who has disappeared for a while, is again engaged in campaigning in Baku villages and in the Sirvan region in a bid to restore the disintegrated team. What is apparent is that by fixing the! date of the referendum for the unlimited presidency, Ilham Aliyev slackened the great battle inside the authorities but has not eliminated it at all. At the same time, it is difficult to predict the outcome of this against the backdrop of union and strengthening of the opposition and hard days expecting the government following the global economic crisis. However, what is precise is that the outcome will not take longer and we shall ourselves witness everything."

Source: Yeni Musavat, Baku in Azeri 26 Feb 09 p 9


Anonymous said...

What difference does it make? Pashayev's, Aliyev’s, who knows who else... it's a long standing tradition of Azerbaijani power structure, there is no ultimate loyalty, there are always scuffles at the bottom of the stairs to the throne... bottom line is none of these "crocodiles" are concerned about Azerbaijan and it's people, they only want to get their share of the goodies... so who cares about this soap opera?

Arzu Geybulla said...

True! But the soap opera is just there for the image, just like everything else in Azerbaijan. Like road renovation- mostly probably those roads will need another renovation very soon. Or the way apartments on main streets are covered up with nice stones- just as everything else- it all looks great from the outside but everything rotten on the inside.