The President of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan has published the scientific work “The Leader Adapting the Development of Azerbaijan to the Challenges of the 21st Century”, which can be found on the website of the state news agency Azertaj. The author explains: everything that is stated by him is the result of observations over 16 years of work by the head of the Presidential Administration Ilham Aliyev.
The 59-page work begins with a pretentious sentence: "For me, as far as the history of development of modern Azerbaijan is concerned, there are no open questions." It is further revealed that R. Mehdiyev in the presented article brought to the attention of readers the chapter of the book about Ilham Aliyev.
“In 2003, when Iham Aliyev became a president, he had to create his own creative team,” Mehdiyev writes, and states, “This does not mean that the president did not want to work with the staff of President Heydar Aliyev.” Or: "whoever becomes president after Heydar Aliyev, his fate would be the attitude to the cadres of the former head of state." These cadres failed the attempts of destructive opposition forces to damage Azerbaijan, the author writes, recalling historical examples of the destructive influence of destructive leaders - Pol Pot, Nero, Idi Amin.
The article has many statistical calculations, which Mehdiyev illustrates the successful development of the country under President I. Aliyev. In support of the correctness of the policy of innovative development of society and the economy, the author refers to figures: as of 2005, gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded the level of the 1990s by 11%. In 2004-2013, Azerbaijan became the world leader in terms of economic growth (on average 13% per year). “The speed with which large-scale transformations are taking place in Azerbaijan is comparable with the best world standards,” he writes.
An interesting place in Mehdiyev’s research can be considered his opinion on the reason for the reforms conducted by I. Aliyev. At the same time, he quotes the director of the Institute of Central Asia and the Caucasus under the Council of American Foreign Policy, the author of the book "Azerbaijan since Independence Day" Svante Cornell, in which he talks about the economic crisis of 2014, as the reason for the start of reforms in Azerbaijan. In this case, the question arises about the quality of the economic forecast of state institutions in Azerbaijan, which could not or did not want to warn the government in advance so that the reforms would be ahead of the crisis so that it would not devastatingly hit the population.
The author mentioned the “Asan Xidmet” service trying to demonstrate the successful implementation of modern information technologies, but did not mention the state-forgotten electronic system for automatic control of automobile traffic in Baku. Having spent more than $ 100 million on this South Korean system, the capital received only giant screens over the roads. On them, the drivers are informed of the maximum speed and political toasts. Not a single information screen at bus stops works.
To demonstrate the success of the reforms, R. Mehdiyev reports Azerbaijan’s rating in Doing Business-2020 and other international rankings, but does not compare our place with similar indicators of the nearest countries - Georgia and Armenia. Meanwhile, a comparison with neighboring countries close to us in terms of starting capabilities, geography and demography would show real success or failure of reforms in Azerbaijan. In particular, the CIS statistics show that even after raising the average salary and social benefits, Azerbaijan is significantly inferior to Georgia and slightly ahead of Armenia. In an article published at http://www.contact.az/ext/news/2019/10/free/analytics/ru/121378.htm, it was found that in the latest Doing Business ranking Azerbaijan fell nine steps compared to the previous year.
Mehdiyev’s article contains a clear forecast that contradicts the rumors about the transfer of higher power to another person. “According to the forecasts of futurologists, in stably developing countries, in particular in Azerbaijan, by 2025 a completely new political elite will be formed, called the “comm brain” ( literal translation -“ general brain ”,“ common mind ”). It will be a single, rigidly structured, and hierarchically ordered team of highly intellectual and pragmatic functionaries, far from any kind of radicalism, destructive revolutionism. And it will continue to be led by the consolidating political leader Ilham Aliyev, who will continue to fulfill the main leadership function in the management system,” Mehdiyev promises.
Once again, we encounter a contradiction: is the common brain able to function efficiently by delivering an intellectual product, under the conditions of a “rigidly structured, hierarchically ordered team” in which freedom of thought and creativity is driven into a team format? The author gives the answer to this question, immediately indicating that in the age of the creation of the "information society" the country's governance will somewhat resemble a "computer network". However, as you know, network systems are built on the parallel functioning of many units, but not controlled from one center.
Regarding the selection methodology in the new management system, Mehdiyev does not talk about the elections inherent in democratic states. Obviously, because “the arrival of a functionary in the managerial sphere, either accidental or alien to the political management system, can create serious problems for both the country's population and foreign investors.”
It is surprising that, paying much attention to criticism of the Azerbaijani opposition, repeatedly emphasizing the president’s outstanding abilities to create his own team, throughout the lengthy article, Mehdiyev never mentions Azerbaijan’s first vice president Mehriban Aliyeva. Such forgetfulness contradicts public opinion about the role of M. Aliyeva in the country's leadership and the future of the state.
The article has many quotes by well-known experts who spoke about the unprecedented personal abilities of Ilham Aliyev. Among them is "a talented freelance journalist Eynulla Fatullayev." It is surprising to quote the ardent anti-Azerbaijani Russian TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov. It seems that even if he praises the president of Azerbaijan, nevertheless, quoting Solovyov will make it difficult for Azerbaijani political commentators to criticize the pro-Armenian statements of this television journalist.
Abundantly referring to quotes and figures when analyzing the country's economic indicators, Mehdiyev, speaking of freedom of speech and press in Azerbaijan, does not resort to the method of quoting authorities, and after all, international organizations have made many statements condemning Azerbaijan on this parameter. So, in the report of the international organization “Reporters without Borders” for 2019, our country in the World Press Freedom Index compared with last year's index fell 4 steps lower and ranks 166 out of 180 places. This is a significantly worse indicator compared to Georgia and Armenia.
The article is extremely sprinkled with laudatory remarks about Presidents Heydar Aliyev and Ilham Aliyev, and is replete with illogisms. The passage is incomprehensible, from which the author’s opinion about the unformed state of the Azerbaijani nation follows. He writes, describing the tasks before I. Aliyev "It is impossible to ensure the political development of Azerbaijan without the consistent formation of a stable consciousness among the population of belonging to a single nation."
It is difficult to understand the author’s words that “Azerbaijan has every opportunity to survive in the third decade of the 21st century as a strong and modern independent state.” Is the task of modern Azerbaijan, and even with such high rates, is to maintain state independence? Raising the standard of living and democracy to the standards of developed countries is not a priority of the state. Maybe Azerbaijan has solved the Karabakh problem, and therefore the author does not stop on it? Ramiz Mehdiyev does not see an independent Azerbaijan in the fourth, fifth decade of the 21st century, in the 22nd century?
The full text of the article by R. Mehdiyev “Leader Adapting the Development of Azerbaijan to the Challenges of the 21st Century” can be found here https://azertag.az/ru/xeber/Lider_adaptiruyushchii_razvitie_Azerbaidzhana_k_vyzovam_XXI_veka-1365650