B. Mammadov, crisis systems and reforms

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- On the one hand, speaks about easing the policy of the authorities, and on the other, arrests and harassment of civil society activists continue. What do you think is going on?

-The easing is evident, but it istoo early about reforms. Without independent courts, democratic elections, it is impossible to talk about serious reforms. But the fact that the president of the republic acts as a supporter of transformations deserves approval.

The political line pursued by Ilham Aliyev is not only elements of political technology, but a completely new political course chosen as part of traditional governance. That is, what is happening is not just PR elements, but a new approach. The superiority of this new political course, which differs from the primitive course of sleepy cabinet officials, is indisputable.

No one is talking about the struggle of the president and first vice president for the conquest of Olympus. Together they are pursuing a new political line. From this point of view, the misinformation launched by the hibernating officials about the early presidential election has burst.

According to some reports, the country's leadership from several sources receives a package of proposals and evaluates them. Unlike those on websites, blogs, and social networks, it advises outdated ideas like "take care of Ali Kerimli"s personal life", "radical, destructive opposition leads people to death", "Leyla Yunus"s mother is Armenian," new experts come up with optimal suggestions. Credit decisions, monitoring of social networks and evaluation of the recommendations made there, as well as a phone call (Rasim Balayev"s example) is a manifestation of the new approach.

Most commendable is the fact that the country's leadership personally evaluates these proposals and makes the final decision itself. In Azerbaijan, experts began to play the same role as in the Western management model. All these proposals are not given by the team that previously advised: "Scold, insult!".

Of course, they respond to abuse with abuse. As a result of this policy of declining, the head of state became a target, and they did not even remember about these little officials.

In short, the dynamics of power is changing in favor of those endowed with reformist thinking. This will put an end to the old way of thinking, the mentality, the carriers of which control the "black box office", is forced to write that "in opposition, only blue ones". They resist being pursued by the president and the first vice president of the line. And the fact that Bayram Mammadov, pardoned by the president, was again arrested and tortured by the police, gives grounds to assert that the inner-power conservative team is resisting.

Without independent courts, democratic elections, it is impossible to talk about serious reforms. But the fact that the president of the republic acts as a supporter of transformations deserves approval.

The political line pursued by Ilham Aliyev is not only elements of political technology, but a completely new political course chosen as part of traditional governance. That is, what is happening is not just PR elements, but a new approach. The superiority of this new political course, which differs from the primitive course of sleepy cabinet officials, is indisputable.

No one is talking about the struggle of the president and first vice president for the conquest of Olympus. Together they are pursuing a new political line. From this point of view, the misinformation launched by the hibernating officials about the early presidential election has burst.

According to some reports, the country's leadership from several sources receives a package of proposals and evaluates them. Unlike those on websites, blogs, and social networks, it advises outdated ideas like "take care of Ali Kerimli"s personal life", "radical, destructive opposition leads people to death", "Leyla Yunus"s mother is Armenian," new experts come up with optimal suggestions. Credit decisions, monitoring of social networks and evaluation of the recommendations made there, as well as a phone call (Rasim Balayev"s example) is a manifestation of the new approach.

Most commendable is the fact that the country's leadership personally evaluates these proposals and makes the final decision itself. In Azerbaijan, experts began to play the same role as in the Western management model. All these proposals are not given by the team that previously advised: "Scold, insult!".

Of course, they respond to abuse with abuse. As a result of this policy of declining, the head of state became a target, and they did not even remember about these little officials.

In short, the dynamics of power is changing in favor of those endowed with reformist thinking. This will put an end to the old way of thinking, the mentality, the carriers of which control the "black box office", is forced to write that "in opposition, only blue ones". They resist being pursued by the president and the first vice president of the line. And the fact that Bayram Mammadov, pardoned by the president, was again arrested and tortured by the police, gives grounds to assert that the inner-power conservative team is resisting.

- It turns out that those who oppose the policy of easing try to discredit this line. If so, then why do not the authorities pursue a policy of cleaning their ranks? Why not to start the reforms from their circles?

-The corrupt team will face a fiasco. They understand that they will soon come to an end, so they resort to any sabotage. Here is an example, for decades, I have sharply criticized the authorities, of which 16 years are directly from Ilham Aliyev. Because of this, he was persecuted. But it is not interesting that as soon as I set out the thesis "Ilham Aliyev pursues a policy of mitigation. He needs to be helped to make the transition to democracy without cataclysms," the persecution of me immediately began to intensify exponentially. They hacked my blog, threatened me and my family. And not at all because I am a criticizing journalist, but because I said: "The president is conducting a new course of mitigation, and we must support this course." Logically, the opposite should have happened. Why are some officials in power concerned by the fact that independent experts approve of Ilham Aliyev"s steps? He is being misinformed and tried so that the president takes drastic steps. It is clear that the team of the president betrayed him. I believe that it is necessary to get rid of the treacherous team and begin a dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. Trying to thwart the thaw policy, such officials can create the conditions for the greatest betrayal. The president faces terrible treachery. It is impossible prevent this with the help of "Grandma Saray." You need to take the help of people with social legitimacy.

Officials do not allow public opinion makers to participate in mitigation policies. As a result of the policies of these officials, Azeri immigrants began to insult the president and his family. All this must be comprehended. With such an approach in the 21st century it is impossible to manage people. The head of state wants to change something. The bureaucratic "stone barrier" does not allow him to do this. The president proceeds to direct contacts, direct communication and causes serious blows to the army of officials, the old thinking, which has already become a heavy burden. Public opinion is changing in favor of the head of state, and the authors of the theses "arrest, call the phone, so that the journalist is suspended from work, force writing abuse" have already lost their importance.

If Russia is not taken into account, there is little external pressure on political power. The "Pashinyan model" also loses its relevance. Ilham Aliyev is among the people and prevents such "surprises". You asked the question "Is it happening reform". It is too early to talk about reform in the country where Ogtay Shiraliyev is the minister of health, and corruption is galloping at customs. Without free media, judicial reform, in the presence of police brutality and brazen heads of executive power, it is impossible to talk about reform. However, despite all the sabotage and resistance of his entourage, the president is taking serious steps. It is very likely that positive decisions will be taken regarding energy and social security. I think that the "problem with the passport" of the chair of the Popular Front Party Ali Karimli will be resolved. Seymour Hazy and others will be released. Although the team does not want to allow this. These measures include the reorganization of free media (subject to the removal of corrupt journalists), the solution of the problem of political prisoners.

Today there are not independent analytical and survey centers in the country. These centers should be run by independent people. If you conduct an objective survey of public opinion, it turns out that the president has a high rating. However, if these results were presented by any of the pro-government persons, no one would believe in his objectivity. Ilham Aliyev supports changes. To explore problems, he scans social networks. From this point of view, he needs to communicate with people who have enough courage and culture to bring him problems. Azerbaijan is the birthplace of all of us. We have to solve problems together. However, with a new approach...

-Is it possible to reform the structure or team that has been in power for a long time, has its well-known political line, a well-known system?

-Let's assume the difficult problem from a global perspective. "Tea political science" has led to the fact that in the past 30 years the country has not gone the process of normal development. The policy of the current President of Azerbaijan is criticized both on the right and on the left. The opposition calls the political course of the head of state inconsistent, contradictory and illogical, consisting of riddles and paradoxes.

Opponents of the president believe that this course is reflected in both domestic policy and diplomacy. Although this policy, at first glance, seems to be a continuation of the policy of the Heydar Aliyev period, but it is marked by sharp turns. Such a course leads to inevitable crises. It is not by chance that the Russian press has begun a serious struggle against compromising the country's leadership. One of the requirements is the deployment of Russian troops in areas bordering Iran (the proposed areas that will be freed from occupation - A.R.). Consent to this may cause serious to the US discontent.

In short, the power of Azerbaijan is reminiscent of a ship full of internal intrigues that fell into a storm. A ship will sink or land, will depend on the strength of the squall, that is, on the degree of external pressure. Critics of the president believe that it is inappropriate to talk about the contradictions of management; in fact, there is a crisis of power in Azerbaijan. In contrast to the period of Heydar Aliyev"s rule, it is already impossible to speak about a mechanism governed by the will of one person.

It must be understood. Ilham Aliyev began to lead the country as a young man. There was a big war behind Azerbaijan; the oil contracts did not yet bring the expected revenues, at any moment the country could be drawn into the conflict. Ilham Aliyev managed to get out of this crisis. However, the attitude towards Ilham Aliyev mostly remained within the framework of attitude towards Heydar Aliyev.

The desire to be out from under the shadow of the ex-president forced the current president to make a number of changes in his political course. The new president began to take certain steps in foreign and domestic policy. Starting from this period, they began to talk about Ilham Aliyev as a political leader pursuing an independent and new policy, but his management raised a number of unexplained questions. Society wanted to understand what the president wants to do for the country and what his initiatives serve. Ilham Aliyev left the impression of a politician who preferred the new political course.

These paradigms began to be accompanied by inconsistency, incompleteness, which gave rise to many questions that so far no one has yet answered. The political course of political leadership in the Azerbaijani manner was a policy of maneuvering between democracy and authoritarianism. Neither democracy is European-style, nor dictatorship in the East, but the intermediate policy located between them. Full of contradictions and, at the same time, innovative policies. On the one hand, the positive expectations of society and the liberal intentions of the political leadership, and on the other, the anti-Western challenges and undemocratic steps did not make it clear what the president wants to do.

There are also some nuances. The fact that officials were against the strategy of further development of Azerbaijan spoke both about the fact that the president is a pragmatic and progressive politician, and that he is trying to get rid of the "excess burden". Although the president acted as a supporter of economic reforms and democratic transformations, the absence of the expected results of his steps began to be regarded as a manifestation of his paradoxical political course. Today Ilham Aliyev repeats the same gestures.

The head of state is among the people, solves some problems and offers a truce to society. However, some people from his entourage do not allow shaking the outstretched hand of the president. Turkish President Erdogan, whose political management is criticized by journalists, meets with them, answers their questions and presents himself in a democratic manner.

Azerbaijan is pursuing a policy of forcibly transforming into an enemy even those who subject the head of state to healthy criticism. And this policy is carried out by the same odious officials. I do not think that Ilham Aliyev sees his rival in the young Bayram Mammadov and demanded to torture him in the police. Those who do this should be punished. In fact, the re-arrest of a person pardoned by the president is the message of the old team that "there will be no reforms". Ilham Aliyev must indicate to these officials their place and borders, and I am sure that it will be so.

Ilham Aliyev has to maneuver between geopolitical forces. Now the main problem is related to finding the answer to the question "Should we be with Russia or with the US?" Over the years, maneuvering between Russia, the US and Iran, Ilham Aliyev managed at least to discuss their interest in continuing the current political course. The authorities also tried to use some of the recent events in the Middle East to their advantage.

Thus, the democratization of society and the eradication of statism not only can lead to policies oriented towards the West, but also have undesirable consequences for the West. In many cases, dealing with an authoritarian regime is more beneficial than with the power of patriotic-nationalist and radical-religious groups. Official Baku wants to demonstrate that the current situation may be more advantageous for the West. However, the head of state does not rely on his team, but on himself. Although he is convinced that he has been elected by the people and always will be, many officials, especially those who work directly with the population and are involved in mobilization schemes, understand well the true scale of popularity and the prospects for power against the background of a deepening crisis.

In fact, there are two ways ahead of Ilham Aliyev. Either he changes the team, or the team changes him. We should not lose sight of the emergence of a new opposition to Ilham Aliyev from among former officials, odious corrupt officials, and eager for revenge. In fact, the eyes of those who, having been released, said "America akbar, Trump rahbar", are directed to the Kremlin. They want to be cleansed by the hands of the national democratic opposition, to enlist the support of the West. However, let us imagine for a moment that they come to power. What will change? Will democracy or totalitarian regime win, or will vendetta begin? This is a rhetorical question.

- It is known that many officials on the steps of power themselves have become a big force. Or behind them are other powers having an interest in the region. Will the Azerbaijani authorities be able to overcome these obstacles?

- Today, Russia wants to prevent a policy of mitigation through its agents in the opposition and the government. For many years, the West has financed the opposition through various foundations. This money, unlike Georgia, did not go towards the development of civil society, towards the enrichment of several leaders. Therefore, financial support for the opposition of the West has weakened considerably. The participation of the opposition in projects related to Russia also made the West think.

However, the most important thing is the likelihood of a new financial and property division in Azerbaijan. Depriving the power of the existing political force in Azerbaijan means going out of control about $ 100 billion of funds. This money is enough for any sabotage. There is no mechanism for confiscating this money. This can only be achieved through revolution. However, the West does not want a revolution in Azerbaijan, but a smooth transition. From this point of view, Ilham Aliyev, with his recent moves, was able to win the sympathy of the West to a certain extent.

Azerbaijani society also does not want a revolution. We need reforms. No matter who will conduct them? The main thing is that the reforms go. It is highly doubtful that the people who today emerged from prison as heroes will become democrats, having come to power. No next failed experiments can be allowed! Reforms are needed!

If Ilham Aliyev does it, why not to support him? Criticism is not an option. You must specify the path. We have good chances to achieve positive results in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Naturally, if Russia, the old team and the well-known opposition wing under their control give us the opportunity, positive changes can occur in Azerbaijan.

- There is an opinion that even if the first person carries out reforms, the negative events that have occurred in the country for 16 years, references to the country in international reports and organizations among the laggards will be attributed to him. President and his entourage must answer for this, and this requires great willpower. Do you think the president can do this?

- We have been performing such radical slogans for 30 years. What changed? For the revolution, there are neither resources nor external support. On the other hand, no rational person will desire a revolution for himself. Today there are changes. Russia is alarmed by this and is putting pressure on the president. In this regard, some officials from the team of the head of state began to play a dangerous game. Even at first glance, it is clear that the president is faced with a monstrous betrayal of his cadres.

The threat to his power appeared from the people whom he had defended for many years and fostered at the cost of hard work. In principle, it is not a secret to anyone that the struggle for power has entered the most crucial stage. We have to change the situation. This time it is about not only a new financial section, but also geopolitical sympathies also play an important role.

It is also important which team will take what position at the negotiations on Karabakh this time. In Armenia, the "Karabakh clan" was overthrown. Robert Kocharyan, in his book, recalling Heydar Aliyev, writes that the current authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan are not able to solve this problem. In Armenia, the ruling team replaces the counter-elite.

One group in the government of Azerbaijan justifies the importance of membership in the CSTO and seeks for peace talks, while Ilham Aliyev states that compromises are impossible. Thus, the intra-power war and in the context of Karabakh passes on completely different planes. Today, Russia is putting pressure on Armenians in order to achieve the return of border areas with Iran.

According to the plan, Armenia frees up areas on the border with Iran, instead of official Baku to invest heavily in these regions, launches the Baku-Norashen railway line remaining from Soviet times and delivers goods from Russia by land to Armenia. Discussion of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh in accordance with the above principles is postponed for 15-20 years. Expected changes may cause global unrest in the region.

In this case, both Russia and the West need stability on the Iranian border. The West understands that even if there is a military scenario against Iran, this attack will not be carried out from the territory of Azerbaijan. However, it is quite realistic that during the attack on Iran, millions of people will cross the borders of Azerbaijan, which could create serious problems for Baku.

In short, Ilham Aliyev"s rivals in the government on the issue of Karabakh and the border with Iran demonstrate a completely different position. All this gives grounds to assert that what is happening in the corridors of power is not only a confrontation between worldviews and cultures, but also a conceptual divergence of opinions about the future of Azerbaijan. Today, they demonstrate their readiness to sign the "Karabakh Plan", which Heydar Aliyev refused to sign in due time.

I also criticize Ilham Aliyev. However, the fact is that the president wants to prevent the occupation of the country and the loss of independence. Another group is against it. In that case, of course, moderate people will support Ilham Aliyev. The president should immediately get rid of the army of officials who are ready to betray him, and turn to the people and independent experts. Then, in a short time, a power can be formed in Azerbaijan, the legitimacy of which is beyond doubt. Moreover, tales of revolution launch Russian agents of influence into public opinion. It must be understood.

-What dangers can wait for Azerbaijan both in the case of reforms, and in case of rejection of them?

-Reforms are inevitable. This can be delayed, but this cannot be avoided. That is why one group supports the actions of Ilham Aliyev so that this policy may ultimately lead to reforms. Another group wants to strengthen authoritarian governance. In the 21st century, such a regime is unacceptable, and I am confident that the president will point the door to officials who are hindering reforms. These officials frighten the president by saying that the reforms may lead to the loss of his power. However, it is not so. Ilham Aliyev can go down in history as a reformist and president who returned Karabakh.

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