- Nasimi bey, the first sitting of the parliament was held. And new administration and new committee chairmen were appointed to parliament. Do you think these changes will affect the activity and essence of the parliament?

- It is impossible to change the essence of parliament by appointing new persons to the administration and committee chair of the Milli Majlis (MM). The parliament was deprived of the opportunity to become one of the three main branches of state power. In fact, the parliament has turned into a body under the control of the central executive power. Its role in the formation of a system of social, economic, public, political, legal relations in the country is very low. The power of not only the head of state but also the departments of the presidential administration and the representatives of the apparatus of the first vice-president is much more than the total power of the MM. Deputies won the mandate, not at the people's will, but at the will of the government. In this case, any independent and useful initiatives from this parliament should not be expected. If there was a democratic and fair election, the absolute majority of the people, who were given the deputy mandate today, would not receive even one percent of the vote. There may be no particularly sharp objections in the society now against the newly appointed persons to the management of the MM. However, these artificial changes will not have a positive impact on the general activity and essence of the MM.

- The critical issue is that although many of the former speakers and vice speakers were in parliament this time too, we saw other people being elected to these posts. For example, Oktay Asadov and Ziyafat Asgarov. Moreover, more silent and passive MPs were elected to these posts. For example, although Sahiba Gafarova, who was appointed to the post of Speaker, was elected deputy for the third time, no one has ever heard her voice and no one has ever heard her speech on any subject. Adil Aliyev as well. What does it mean to appoint these people to the administration, even though they are more active deputies in the parliament than the others?

- In fact, although it is not systematic, the process of updating staff has been going on in the government camp since the 2016 referendum. There are certain novelties in other areas, except for the judiciary. The analysis of these novelties shows that the government is very cautious and hesitant in its actions. The authorities are aware that sympathy and political support in society for them have been lost. Socio-political stability in the country is ensured only by unlawful interference by law enforcement agencies.

This may not be long-term and will sooner or later lead to the need to resort to political means. The government is still testing fragile steps that can strengthen it spiritually and politically. Either the conception of concrete and consecutive reforms is absent or the government hesitates to implement it. There is no convincing answer in the government camp as to why the parliament was dissolved, an early traditional anti-democratic election was held, and 79 percent of the previous composition re-mandated.

It is not clear by what ideological and political criteria, those who have been brought to the composition and administration of the MM have been appointed. It seems that the president no longer puts his trust in persons represented in the governing structures of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party. He does not allow them to come close to the high-ranking and elective positions. No one in the new administration of the MM is a member of the NAP's political council, board, and executive secretariat. This approach also manifests itself in new ministerial appointments.

- In general, what can we expect from the newly formed 6th convocation parliament?

- The society should not have a serious expectation from the new composition of the MM. Because society has not played a role in the parliamentary representation of these people. Deputies will still protect the interests of the government. The government did not allow people to freely elect in this election too. It did not want to bring the widespread dissatisfaction in the community to the parliament through the opposition and independent candidates. Cosmetic changes were made to the composition of the parliament. The course of conducting political and social discussions outside parliament has been continued. Although 43 new people were brought to the MM, 78 are the previous traditional composition. Most of the persons brought to the legislature by the government have not participated in the discussion of socio-political problems of society. The country's main opposition had boycotted the elections. And those who participated in the election faced total election fraud and have not accepted the results.

- Rumors say that this parliament will not be long-lasting too. What do you think about it?

- It seems that this parliament has also failed to gain public confidence. Everyone knows that in parliament, not the will of the people but the will of the government was crucial. Most of the serious violations that occurred in the electoral process have not received a fair legal assessment. I am of the opinion that this MM will create more moral and political problems for the president of the country than before.

The future fate of the parliament will depend on the mood of the government, as well as on the social, public, and political processes in the society. Our country is rapidly moving towards the financial, economic, and social crisis. There is a very risky, complex, and conflicting phase ahead. The government can revise parliamentary elections in a different format.

Already, the executive and judicial branches of power in our country are totally subordinated to the political will of the government. In the upcoming complex and contradictory phase, it will be difficult to manage the devastating social wave that may arise if the representation of the will of people is not allowed in the parliament, at least in part.

- Despite so much dissatisfaction, complaints, criticism, and facts, the CEC, the ConECs, the courts, and the Constitutional Court turned a blind eye to all these. Today, more than 236 dissatisfied candidates have united to form a working group. Do you think these candidates will be able to do anything for from now on?

- First and foremost, when we look at the political resources of the former candidates who protest, we see that it is very difficult for these people to mobilize the dissatisfaction in society and turn it into a protest.

The political power, which is able to direct the majority of the dissatisfied and protesting groups in the country, has boycotted the elections and is not involved in these processes. The early election failed to establish a basis for just directing that protest electorate to the other political organizations participating in the elections.

Furthermore, it is necessary to take into account the sharp decline in voter turnout during the early parliamentary elections. Although the Central Election Commission said 46.84% of voters across the country cast their ballots, this is not convincing.

According to the preliminary statement of the Institute for Democratic Initiatives (IDI), which is trusted by the international and local community, on the result of early parliamentary elections held on February 9, 2020, 20.56% of voters cast their ballots.

Taking into account the large number of voters involved in voting using all administrative resources on election day, it is clear those who voluntarily participate in the voting contains 8-10% of the total number of voters. Candidates who disagree with the official results of the elections themselves confirm this view. At the same time, my own observations have made this conclusion too.

If there was actually 8-10 percent participation in the election, in which 19 political parties, 1305 candidates, who took part in by the initiative group of voters or by their own initiative, participated, it means that it would be wrong to expect voters to support mass protests.

In previous years too, there were various initiatives after the parliamentary elections but the results were not positive. It is still a positive thing for former candidates and political organizations to consider some form of joint protest. It would be good to organize objections to the fraudulent results. However, I do not expect the proposed initiatives to yield any positive results.

- Despite all these dissatisfactions and boycotts, the Milli Majlis has been formed and will cooperate with the whole world after this. Did these dissatisfactions and boycotts have any significance?

- Remember, in an interview with you when it was decided on early elections, I told you that the opposition and independent civil society were torn between two bad choices. Neither participating in elections nor boycotting results in legal and political consequences. The government has put political and public institutions in front of the dilemma. It neither provides freedom of assembly nor holds democratic elections. It is impossible to take the necessary steps to get out of this situation for now. However, the results that were reported in the polling stations on February 9 gave a political and psychological advantage to those boycotting the elections. Moreover, the protests showed that the socio-political stands of the general opposition camp were not shaken after the election. Although the government appeared to be the winner according to official results, it suffered a political loss in essence.

- What steps should parliament take to improve the political and social mood and create a democratic mood in the country?

- The President plays a crucial role in improving the social, economic, political, and legal environment in the country. What duties he assigned to the new parliament, the MM will exactly carry out the tasks he has assigned. It would be much better to declare a great amnesty in the country. Let political prisoners be completely free. This would have weakened political tension in the country and reduced the risk of coronavirus to spread in prisons. It is also important to take steps towards the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, and the elimination of artificial barriers in front of the civil society.

Leave a review


Follow us on social networks

News Line