BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 9
By Elchin Mehdiyev – Trend:
A strategy of important and large-scale reforms is being implemented in Azerbaijan recently, under the leadership of the country’s President Ilham Aliyev, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party Ali Ahmadov said in an interview with Trend.
“This can be regarded as continuation of the economic reforms which were launched in the country several years ago,” the deputy prime minister said, referring to the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.
Ahmadov stressed that the reforms being carried out in Azerbaijan’s all spheres envisage great changes.
"As a result of the policy pursued by the authorities, new Azerbaijan was formed, the country's economy developed and other strong parameters of statehood were determined,” Ahmadov said.
“At the same time, President Aliyev has repeatedly stressed that life is constantly changing and the tasks that this development poses urge Azerbaijan to conduct reforms and modernize,” the deputy prime minister said. “In this regard, large-scale reforms covering many spheres of our life were carried out."
“The 2019 can be distinguished as a special stage of these reforms because this year, the dynamics of reforms carried out by President Aliyev has been more accelerated,” Ahmadov added. “Reforms are also being carried out in the field of governance. Reforms are being carried out intensively in two of three branches of power. Both structural and personnel reforms are being carried out in the central and local executive bodies, that is, in the branch of the executive power.”
“Large-scale reforms are being carried out in the judiciary,” the deputy prime minister said. “Thus, the acceleration of the dynamics of the reforms, the successful implementation of the set tasks, ensuring the coordination of reforms, covering all branches of power, also stipulate the need for their implementation in the third branch - legislative branch.”
“If it wasn't for the beginning of the process of carrying out legislative power reforms, then certain difficulties could hamper the process of carrying out the reforms in other spheres in accordance with President Aliyev’s goals,” Ahmadov said. “Therefore, systematic implementation of reforms covering all branches of power and serving implementation of ambitious tasks has become a social order in Azerbaijan.”
“Proceeding from the survey, the Azerbaijani society expresses great confidence in the reforms being carried out by President Aliyev and the society is looking forward to these reforms,” Ahmadov said.
"Citizens also want the scope of reforms to be expanded,” the deputy prime minister said. “The ruling New Azerbaijan Party felt this mood of society. A well-known decision of the ruling party’s Political Council was made on the basis of incoming signals and in accordance with this order. In any case, the process of carrying out the reforms serves to accelerate development in Azerbaijan."
The deputy prime minister also touched upon the attitude of the radical opposition to the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“Azerbaijan’s opposition has different attitude to the upcoming parliamentary elections,” Ahmadov noted. “Based on the results of observations and analysis, I can say that a significant part of the parties represented in the opposition accept the idea of participating in parliamentary elections and, probably, they will try to do so. However, Azerbaijan’s opposition has a radical wing that is inclined and accustomed to perceive any positive changes and development in the country through a different prism. The essence of this attitude is to distort Azerbaijan’s realities, slander, spread lies, rumors, thereby taking a position against the interests of Azerbaijan’s statehood.”
“We have repeatedly said that there is no place for radicalism in Azerbaijan’s political ideology, and it is an alien approach for us,” the deputy prime minister said. “There is no place for radicalism in Azerbaijani society as a whole. Therefore, the fact that several political parties take a radical position makes a person wonder. Who instilled radicalism in these parties? The wishes and intentions of what interested circles outside Azerbaijan do these parties express, taking a radical position? I think that it’s worth thinking about and conducting an analysis.”
Ahmadov noted that this radical opposition is trying to express its attitude to the initiative put forward in connection with the parliamentary elections based on discrediting tactics, as usual.
“Sometimes they give very funny and primitive arguments that the allegedly main reason for the initiative of the holding of early parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan is connected with the cold month, supposedly during the cold months the opposition will remain aloof from the elections,” the deputy prime minister added. “Such an opinion was voiced by Ali Karimli. This makes a person start to think about his world view, and naturally, it is surprising that a person with such primitive thinking is trying to present himself as an opposition leader.”
Ahmadov said that the real reason behind such absurd opinions in connection with the elections is related to the fact that these people aren’t prepared for the elections and they completely lost social support.
“The main reason for participating in the elections is related to the availability of sufficient social support and public authority,” the deputy prime minister noted. “For parties that lack this, election success is impossible. Since the radical parties have completely lost their social support in Azerbaijani society, Azerbaijani citizens don’t believe the candidates that these parties will put forward, and thus, participation in the elections doesn’t bring success to the opposition.”
“Therefore, their tactics are based on refusing, under various reasons, to participate in the elections in order to hide their inevitable failure to win there,” the deputy prime minister said. “These parties don’t have sufficient public support resources to participate in the elections. In the absence of these resources, they cannot participate in the elections, but they are trying to justify this by various arguments, and again, as usual, they are trying to conduct a campaign to discredit the authorities.”
Regarding the boycotting tactics of the radical opposition, Ali Ahmadov said that this can be called a boycott in case if such calls find support among the people.
“Because radical opposition in Azerbaijan has no public support, their calls to boycott the elections won’t affect the mood of society and voters,” the deputy prime minister noted. “Therefore, their calls for a boycott should be perceived as a boycott of themselves, and should be regarded as Azerbaijani society’s boycott of radicalism. Indeed, Azerbaijani society is seriously boycotting radicalism. If a political party doesn’t participate in the elections held in the country, there is no meaning and significance in the existence of this party.”
Regarding what factors the YAP will pay attention to when choosing candidates, Ali Ahmadov noted that each election campaign has its own characteristics, and based on the nature of the current period, the strategy of ongoing reforms and its general context must be taken into account.
“The reforms conducted today are also manifested in the form of personnel changes, and in society, there are kind of expectations in connection with the changes in the parliament as well,” the deputy prime minister added. “However, it should be noted that the power to form the parliament in the country clearly belongs to Azerbaijani citizens. Voters will vote for those whom they want to see in the parliament, and these MPs will represent the Azerbaijani people.”
“Whether they will be representatives of the young or middle-aged generation, this will be determined solely by voters,” Ahmadov said. “Azerbaijan has formed a new, decent, highly educated young generation with broad world view and which received education in a patriotic spirit. This young generation can contribute to Azerbaijan’s development. We must use its potential and capabilities. Our tactic is to nominate young candidates whenever possible. The rest issues will be decided by voters.”