The arrest of Mahir Guliyev, the former head of the Bilasuvar District Executive Power

The arrest of Mahir Guliyev, the former head of the Bilasuvar District Executive Power


- Ilham bey, one of the most discussed issues in recent days is the operations carried out by the SSS in Imishli and Bilasuvar districts. The head of the district executive power was arrested. Earlier, the SSS conducted similar operations in several districts. What is happening? What does the emergence of similar scenarios mean?

- The arbitrariness of officials in the country, bribery of various categories of officials has long been known to the public, and the idea of ​​"it must be like that" has long dominated the minds of society. However, the natural calm gradually turned into anger among the people. This anger has already begun to be openly expressed on social networks and people have continued to protest without hesitation through the Internet and rallies. Although several social projects have been implemented, they have not been able to calm the anger accumulated over the years. As you know, recently there have been a number of personnel changes among those in the upper echelons of the administrative system, and although some officials under their auspices were dismissed quietly, this did not happen in a similar way for some. The chief executives, who are considered the fathers of bribery in the regions, were selected as the first targets and the operations you mentioned were carried out. It is natural that similar scenarios emerge, because the mechanism of bribery, the sources of bribery are the same throughout the country. Everyone saw that the arrested executives took bribes in the same way and by the same means. So, this is not the practice of individual officials, but a form of administration of the whole system. Therefore, some of the “little kings” were sacrificed in order to gain public approval.

- As I said, each of the chief executives arrested in the SSS operation was arrested under similar scenarios. Hidden cameras were installed in the rooms of all of them and the corruption was exposed. On the one hand, this is an example for other chief executives. On the other hand, chief executives will now be even more careful in their rooms or in the building of executive power. That is, they will carry out their dirty deeds in other places. In any case, both the government and the SSS understand this. So what is the reason to show this?

- As mentioned above, the mechanism of bribery is an integral part of the administration of the whole country, so the operations of the SSS are relatively similar and this eases the work of employees conducting this operation a little. Officials, as you say, will carry out their dirty deeds in other places. Be it so. If it is necessary to expose the bribery of a high-ranking official, it will not matter where the official takes the bribe. Whether he/she takes it in the desert, at home, or in the most secret place. It is not a problem for the SSS to identify it as a special service body. Accordingly, there are operational methods and tools. Although it is necessary to do a little more work, it is a completely possible option. Therefore, the continuation of the next series of "performances" is not a problem. The problem is the impossibility of not receiving bribes.

- It is interesting that these steps taken by the SSS are met with great sympathy among the population. On social media, citizens invite the SSS to the district they are living in. What do you think these calls mean?

- Historically, in any society, the punishment of the perpetrator has been seen by the masses as the restoration of justice. The masses think that the angel of justice will finally put an end to oppression, punish the oppressor, and therefore wish this angel to fly over their place. However, this is not yet the establishment of justice, and as you can see, it does not affect high-ranking and low-ranking officials, they continue to take bribes. Let the chief executives be arrested again, but if the population sees that this has not changed their lives, they will be disappointed and the "basic arrests" will become a joke. In some places, complaints about new chief executives are heard and they thank the old ones. So, the best thing is to minimize their basic powers, to give control to the mayors elected by the people. Let real, transparent elections be held. If they get worse, people know they will not choose him again. The administrative system in Azerbaijan must change. There should be arrests; however, this is nothing more than an attempt to conserve the problem.

- Is it possible that the government itself is trying to deliberately discredit the structures of local executive power? Because it was said that many of the heads of the executive powers were appointed by the former head of the Presidential Administration. In other words, after the dismissal of that person, can his staff be neutralized in this way? Or is it possible that the government is preparing to implement not only personnel but also structural reforms in the administration of the local executive power in some form?

- I would not say that these arrests serve to dismiss the staff of the former head of the Presidential Administration. It is a reason too but does not fully cover. The regional affiliation of detainees also shows that clan principles are protected to the maximum. This is an important factor. There are so many corrupt chief executives that these detainees are far better considering them. Why aren’t they arrested? These arrests have nothing to do with structural reforms and such reforms are not expected to happen any time soon. In the name of reform, more and more imitative changes are taking place today and this does not affect the essence of the existing problem.

- The recent statement of the President is also interesting. "They give money and are appointed to the duty." So didn’t the President know about it? Who was this message of the President aimed at?

- It seems to me that this statement is more of a message. If someone introduces new staff to the president in the future, it can be considered as a warning to them, because some of the presentations were delivered to the head of state in time, as if there could be no better staff. It is difficult to give an unequivocal answer as to whether the President was aware of this.

- Will all these steps lead officials to clean up their acts? In general, will the government be able to clean up with such steps? What do you offer? How was this to be done?

- These steps may lead officials to clean up their acts but they will not lead in content. This is a process and the public is aware that the remaining officials - both the minister and the chief executive - have received and will continue to receive bribes. This is not a radical reform but a line to prevent certain dissatisfaction and calm down passions.

There are many offers. First, transparent and fair elections must be held, electoral laws must be revised, parliament must be dissolved and the majority and proportional electoral system must be restored, parliamentary control must be exercised over the executive branch, personnel must be appointed only on the basis of ability, the principles of clan and loyalty should be abandoned once and for all, and the judiciary should be given independence. Structural reforms should be carried out and municipal administration should be given priority. These are the first steps. In general, so much work needs to be done…

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