On March 21 will be a month since the Azerbaijani president appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyeva the first vice-president, that is, the second state official after him. On February 21 and after this appointment, the world media and analysts reported and commented on the first in the post-Soviet countries appointment a family member to the top state position, and then this topic disappeared from the political agenda. Currently the appointment of the First Vice President in Azerbaijan is being discussed in a joyous tone only in the Armenian media. Yerevan quoted the words of Thomas de Waal, a well-known in the South Caucasus British political scientist and author of the book "Black Garden", who said that with his appointment his personal hopes for Azerbaijani democracy have ended.
Why was the theme of nepotism so short-lived?
Maybe because for other states to the north and west of Azerbaijan such personnel appointments are impossible?
In Russia, nepotism is impossible, in any case, under the present family situation of President Vladimir Putin, and to the east and south, though in the Muslim countries of the former USSR the cases when the president appointed his relatives to high positions are usual. In 2015 Nursultan Nazarbayev appointed his daughter Dariga the First Deputy Prime Minister.
If to look at the far abroad, then in the past and this century, in Argentina the President Peron appointed his beloved wife Evita (1919-1952) as vice president. She died at the age of 31, so, taking into account the incredible popularity of the beauty, she could easily become a president. But the failed path of Evita Peron overcame Christina Kirchner, who was president of Argentina until 2015, and took this post from the hands of her husband Nestor Kirchner.
Nepotism is possible even in the US. Donald Trump appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner an advisor to the White House, and the US Supreme Court found nothing illegal in it, although the US law bans such family appointments. Members of the clans Kennedy,Bush and Clinton also occupied leading positions in the state, not simultaneously, but consistently.
By the way, Ilham Aliyev's decree on the appointment his wife as the vice-president is in violation of the Azerbaijani law "On fighting corruption", prohibiting officials from appointing close relatives to subordinate positions (Article 7.1). But who will tell the president about it? A day later the Minister of Internal Affairs appointed his elder son a chief in one of the departments of the Interior Ministry.
What is the reason for the spread of nepotism trends in the world, in which absolutely all states declare their intention to seek and develop a democratic system? Even the president of Turkmenistan leads the Democratic Party.
It is impossible not to listen to the opinion of Stanislav Kucher, the observer of Kommersant FM, who considers that nepotism develops not only in Azerbaijan. "... We are dealing with next manifestation of the global trend of the 21st century - the demonstrative transformation of a number of states that once tried on the Western model of democracy, to the state of actual monarchies. In my opinion, the political destiny of Ilham Aliyev is the story of a worthy son of his people, who shares much of what is called Western values, and long ago came to the conclusion that the best thing provided by the Creator for his country is the autocratic model of governance.
In general, looking at what is happening in different countries of the world, beginning from Azerbaijan and Turkey to Belarus and Russia, I more and more seriously wonder: who will be the first who says "Okay, guys, that is enough, we have played the American model of communism and democracy; let's face the truth and openly admit - this is not for us. We do not need all these formalities: parliament, political competition, an independent court. Our people need a leader, stop spending time and money on elections. Monarchy is the ideal form of government for us."
Kucher remembered Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who says thins that others are embarrassed to say. Fifteen years ago he openly offered to call Vladimir Putin "a tsar": "What is this word "President? " Are we some kind of an America or France? "Tsar" - this is the word to call a leader of Russia, and is the highest state post ... We should not elect anybody. Just like Yeltsin appointed Putin, so let Putin appoint his successor. It is not necessary tom appoint a family member, let it be anyone who exactly will ensure succession."
Indeed, why to be surprised? In today"s Europe the power is inherited by kings and queens? Yes, they say that the existence of royal dynasties in Europe is a formality, a tribute to tradition. And why then this formality, if the state spends a lot of money on its payment?
Of course, the reason for nepotism in the former Soviet republics is not the blind copying of the Buckingham Palace tradition. First of all, one should speak, if not about unconditional support of such appointments by the majority of the local population, but about tacit observation. Political scientist Zardusht Alizade, analyzing the reasons for M. Aliyeva's appointment as vice-president, called Azerbaijanis "a nation-observer". But the same "observers" in the previous generation came out unarmed against Soviet tanks, and built barricades on January 19, 1990 in Baku. The same people in the early nineties, evicted three presidents and the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. What happened to the Azerbaijanis over 25 years of independence?
Disappointment with democracy
The Azerbaijani people became disappointed with democracy, as a system of governing the country, and in the idea of the unconditional justice of democratic values. The latter is directly caused by the silent support of the West by the actions of Armenia, which occupied the Azerbaijani territories. Azerbaijan is confident that under the veil of democracy, Europe and America are guided by Christian solidarity. It is precisely this attitude that the West shows to some Arab countries, which became the victim of the "Arab spring" offered in part by Christians. Everyone will agree that the "Arab Spring" that began in 2011, which promised European values to the Arabs, led them to civil wars, the destruction of states, whose place was occupied by the terrible LIH. Democratic revolutions ended with a democratic election of Islamists, who later overthrow secular political forces (in Egypt). In a word, chaos...
Azerbaijani revolutionaries, the opponents of the Aliyev clan, have to consider the deplorable variants of the development of events under the Arab scenario, especially since the election of Islamic political forces in free elections in Azerbaijan, if any, is quite possible. Azerbaijan is afraid to run into a civil war, and of course, the Armenian army will take advantage of it, because Armenia is waiting for any reason to expand the occupation zone in Karabakh. In Russia, the passionate population may be afraid of the loss of the Crimea, and the Islamist threat looms over all the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia. Look at Europe! History remembers the victory in the election of the fascist Hitler, and awaits a possible victory in the election of the French Nazi Marie Lepen. These are obvious factors, and no one doubts their existence. These factors hold down the Democrats and give superfluous trumps to supporters of totalitarian rule.
Supporters of the governing Azerbaijan by a family put forward a completely new explanation of the expediency of bringing Ilham Aliyev's wife to power. They read the arguments with a reference to the unexpectedly flared up political activity of Russian billionaires of Azerbaijani origin, ruled ostensibly from the Kremlin. In this perspective, the involvement of the most trusted persons in the ruling Azerbaijani team (and who will the Caucasian man trust the most valuable, if not the eldest wife) as additional protection from Russian forces is presented in the form of concern for the state independence of Azerbaijan.
Pay attention to the post of political commentator Vugar Seyidov in the Facebook. He lives in Germany, and cannot be suspected of being "close to the trough". Seyidov writes: "And I'm generally against democracy in Azerbaijan, but I am for the rule of law, it is necessary. ... I have the same attitude to democracy as to the Novgorod Veche, where decisions were taken all together on the basis of the power of screaming. It is dangerous to trust the society the election of a leader. Trump, Hitler, Yeltsin - this is confirmation. All of them came to power in a democratic way. So, sorry, we do not need any democracy. We need a law under which all are equal. I think that the model of the UAE is ideal for Azerbaijan ... "
Indeed, the calmness, stability and wealth in the countries of absolute monarchy: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, are very irritating.
The Russian Andrei Epifantsev continues Seyidov's thought: "... every country has its own way of development. Azerbaijan is strengthening on the path of authoritarian, clan and even family rule. This is neither good nor bad - there are dozens of countries in which such a system exists officially and this does not prevent them from being respected members of the world community. Yes, it is not democracy, but democracy is not an ideal way of government, and certainly not some kind of bogey, to which one must always strive and waved at all crossroads. For different periods, different societies and different situations, there are different ways of the most acceptable device, including democracy, authoritarianism, and much more. The Azerbaijani leadership believes that it is more convenient, the people do not protest, at least visibly and let it be so," Epifantsev writes.
This step has both pluses and minuses. Pros is the concentration of power, its understandable scheme of succession and improvement of the country's controllability. The minuses - nepotism will not improve the attitude of Azerbaijan to the West, and gives abundant food to critics from Armenia, who now incite everyone this fact as an example of eastern despotism, showing that no one should deal with Baku, and one must deal only with Yerevan. And of course, one should not give "freedom-loving Karabakh to the torment of the Azerbaijani sultanate". "It will be more difficult now for the officials of Baku to call Azerbaijan a democratic country... But on the whole, nothing changes ..." commented Epifantsev.
A dull picture is observed. The road to democracy is risky and thorny, and no one wants to stay in the former totalitarianism, looking at the enlightened Europe. Not wishing to finish the article on a pessimistic note, let us sum up the principled opinion of the oldest Azerbaijani democrat, the former chairman of the Musavat party Isa Gambar, to demonstrate that the democratic idea is alive and does not intend to surrender. I. Gambar refused to look for objective positive aspects in the appointment of M. Aliyeva, calling the presidential decree a disgrace for the country, based on the only thing: the husband gave a high position to his wife. Nothing else...