Interview with Legislation and Legal Expertise Department head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Shahin Aliyev
Q: Recently, several newspapers, which call themselves "opposition," issued publications insisting that a constitutional coup is underway in Azerbaijan. The reason was a draft constitutional law on normative legal acts submitted by the president to parliament for consideration. As the subject of the law concerns your department's sphere of activity, we decided to contact you for clarification. What kind of constitutional coup are they talking about?
A: The reason for the "thoughtful" discussions about an alleged constitutional coup is Article 43.1 of the draft law. The authors of the publication argue that under this article, the planning of parliamentary bills should be coordinated with the president. The text of Article 43.1 literally says: "The Milli Mejlis of the Azerbaijani Republic and President of the Azerbaijan Republic develop a mutually coordinated annual plan of bills.
This question is about mutual agreement. If you follow the logic of the authors, then it can be that the president cannot include any project in the bill plan concerning the Presidential Administration. The practice of mutually coordinating bill plans is normal in in democratic countries. This question is about the normal coordination of activities to avoid the duplication of each other in the project preparation process.
Q: What was the reason for the sensational statements about a constitutional coup?
A: In my mind, the question is about looking for a sensation even by distorting the very document, which is available to the public. For some reason, the state of the draft law, which indicates detailed linguistic, legal and other expertise of draft legal acts, including anti-corruption examination, is out of the field of vision of the authors of the newspaper publications. The draft law has undergone an examination by the Venice Commission, as well as European experts. Obligations on ensuring the anti-corruption expertise of normative act draft have been taken by Azerbaijan before the European Commission in 2006 according to the accepted the Action Plan between Azerbaijan and the EU. The press, which considers itself democratic, doesn't obey the rules of democracy.
Recently, I have personally saw this with censorship in the Azadlig newspaper. Rovshan Hajibeyli published an article about me April 19, in which he insisted that I was appointed to this post in the Presidential Administration by the leadership of the Popular Front in 1992. The newspaper's website allows readers to post comments on articles. However, all of my attempts, and the attempts of people close to me, to inform the author that I was appointed to this post in the Soviet times - in October 1991 - went unpublished.