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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Mehriban Aliyeva becomes the most influential woman of the Caucasus

The unexpected appointment of a woman as the first Vice-President of Azerbaijan formally can be called a completion of constitutional reform in the country. In reality, however, such a high position for the wife of Azerbaijan leader leads to very different thoughts. Especially considering that in countries of this type these posts earlier women never get.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyev, the first Vice-President of the Republic.

“Introduction to Mehriban Aliyeva for the second highest position in the state in such a situation guarantees the legitimate and legal preservation of power in the hands of the family in case of any problems her husband”

This decision came to pass constitutional reform, which resulted in the state structure of the Republic was introduced the positions of Vice-presidents. The referendum about to be held in Azerbaijan at the end of September 2016. Then the focus of the media and the expert community drew other changes in the basic law – in particular, the increase of the presidential term.

The news of the nomination of Mehriban Aliyeva gives you the opportunity to look inside the political system, which is often referred to the group of countries with the traditional label of “post-Soviet dynastic autocracy”, and try to understand the complexity of the processes taking place there.

The Aliyev clan, harshly criticized by the liberal forces of the West for the “privatization” of Azerbaijan’s statehood and established the country’s “dictatorial regime”, which suppresses freedom and human rights.

It is impossible not to admit that the grounds for such criticism has. Moreover, the new appointment of Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, only reinforces them. It is difficult to describe getting its second in the hierarchy of post in the state otherwise than as a desire Aliyev to introduce additional “safety” for a more durable conservation of power in the hands of the family.

On the other hand, the events of the last fifteen years has delivered a substantial part of the world from the illusion that if you destroy the authoritarian and inherited mode, it will flourish democracy. Usually there just comes a bloody chaos where forces such as ISIS*.

Azerbaijan especially because under the leadership of Aliyev, the country became one of the most successful in the region. Accordingly, accusations of dictatorship and totalitarianism on the ruling family has already caused a very sluggish response, given the background from a much more disadvantaged neighbors.

Much more meaningful and important to understand what reasons prompted the ruling forces of Azerbaijan to implement this combination. For obvious reasons first come to mind or those other conspiracy assumptions.

Ilham Aliyev only 55 years old, and hardly the leader of Azerbaijan is concerned about the possibility of retirement due to old age. Accordingly, immediately, there was a version about some health issues with the Azerbaijani President. If these specs are even slightly close to the truth, the introduction of Mehriban Aliyeva at the second highest position in the state in any case, guarantee the legitimate preservation of power in the hands of the chief of the Azerbaijani clan.

Other versions allow the threat of internal political destabilization of Azerbaijan on the part of certain opposition forces, for example the military coup in Turkey. These assumptions are based on the fact that Turkey is Azerbaijan’s closest neighbor, partner and in many ways an example to follow. There may be a risk of transmitting the current Turkish problems on the Azerbaijani soil.

All of this would be an empty speculation, if not a curious coincidence – mentioned constitutional reform was initiated almost immediately after the attempt to overthrow Erdogan.

However, regardless of the true causes of the incident it is impossible not to mention the very Mehriban Aliyeva, who once again proved that she knowingly enters the club of the most influential “Oriental” wives.

In the Caucasus and the middle East there is a whole group of wives of heads of state, who is widely known to the public an impressive combination of active personal activities (usually in a humanitarian spheres), visual appeal (and style) and real political influence. This is all the more curious that we are talking about the region dominated by traditional, and sometimes extremely conservative social and political attitudes.

The most striking example of this is considered to be the wife Sheikha Mozah, the second (of three) wives of the former Emir of Qatar. Her influence on her husband and the state policy is so great that her husband, having gone to bed, handed power not to the eldest son, who bore for him another wife, and son from Mozy. However, even the sheikhs Mozy formal positions and titles relate exclusively to social and humanitarian spheres. For example, she’s the head of the Qatar Foundation for education, science and community development and President of the Supreme Council for family Affairs.

Mehriban Aliyeva is rightfully a long time member of this group the most influential first wives. In her list of posts is to highlight the following: she is a member of the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan, head of the working group on Azerbaijan-France Interparliamentary relations, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Foundation of friends of culture of Azerbaijan, President of gymnastics Federation of Azerbaijan, goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, the UN, OIC and ISESCO.

Now it held a post of the first Vice-President.

Of course, Azerbaijan is not so islamisierung society, as, for example, Qatar. Yet the official purpose of Mehriban Aliyeva on the second highest position in the state dramatically increases its rate as the most influential – both formally and in essence women in the region.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”


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