Freedom House: Aliyev Tries to Eliminate Risk of Intra-Elite Conspiracy

Baku / 06.05.20 / Turan: The Freedom House international human rights organization published an annual report on the state of affairs in the world with human rights.

The study, entitled “Enhancing Democracy and Freedom: Transitional States,” covers 29 countries. Ten of them are categorized as democratic, 10 as hybrid, and 9 as authoritarian countries.

Azerbaijan ended up in the category of authoritarian countries, gaining 1.4 points.

“The Presidents of Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, appointing their relatives to senior posts, are setting the stage for a dynastic transfer of power. In a system with the dominance of one person, the transfer of power in any form creates risks.

In a region with established dictatorships, fundamental freedoms are very poorly protected.

Armenia and Georgia with 3 and 3.25 points were among countries with hybrid regimes.

Freedom House notes that President Ilham Aliyev inherited power from his father during the elections held under tight control in 2003.

“And now there are signs of preparation for the expected transfer of power within the family. In recent years, Aliyev has been making changes in the highest echelons of power mainly in favor of his wife,” the study said.

It is also indicated that the establishment in 2017 of the post of First Vice President strengthened the family network, nicknamed the Pashayev Clan."

In conditions of economic slowdown and amid growing clan politics, Aliyev, who is losing public support, is removing officials from the "old guard" in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of an intra-elite plot. The ousted persons opposed Aliyev’s wife or at least were not loyal to her.

“If Aliyev resigns in the future, then Mehriban Aliyeva will head the government consisting of her supporters,” the report said.

The Azerbaijani authorities have not yet commented on this report. However, as a rule, government officials reject criticism, calling it biased and arguing that human rights and freedoms are respected. -16D-


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