Azerbaijani authorities shuffle around officials and ministries
In two days, several serious personnel and structural changes have taken place in Azerbaijan: from the resignation of the head of the presidential administration to the abolition of the Ministry of Taxes.
What changes have taken place?
- The resignation of 81-year-old Ramiz Mehdiyev, the permanent head of the Presidential Administration since 1995. In the days of the USSR, he held a similar position under the father of the current president. Now Ramiz Mehdiyev has headed up the Academy of Sciences. Who will lead the presidential administration is still unknown.
- The resignation of Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, who was appointed deputy prime minister. Previously, this place was occupied by Hajibala Abutalybov (former head of the executive branch of Baku), who was retired;
- The Minister of Economics was the former Minister of Taxes Mikail Jabbarov, who had previously been the Minister of Education and the Minister of Taxes, having implemented reforms in both posts that the public did not like;
- The Ministry of Taxes was abolished and, together with all employees, joined it to the Ministry of Economy. The State Committee for Property and the Antimonopoly Agency for Supervision of the Consumer Market also joined there;
- The resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov. At the same time, he continues to occupy several other positions: the chairman of the republican commission on international humanitarian assistance, the chairman of the state commission on combating drugs and the deputy chairman of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party.
What is surprising in what is happening?
All these rearrangements occurred swiftly and unexpectedly. People were removed from some posts and assigned to others within a few hours. Not only ordinary citizens were confused, but also experts and specialists.
Almost all of the “displaced” are elderly people. Therefore, many perceive the reshuffle as the president’s desire to “rejuvenate” the government.
There are also attempts to find a connection between these events and two protests (an opposition rally and a feminist march) that occurred over the weekend. But no one dares to say exactly how the line of behavior of the authorities will change and whether it will change at all.
The president himself said that “personnel reforms are inevitable, this is inevitable.”
Still without an understanding of what is happening, for now the public has resorted to humour:
“Let all ministries be united into one and call it the ‘Ministry of Taxes of Customs of the Economy of Internal and Foreign Affairs of the Country of the City of Communications of the Construction of the Technologies of Health Education and Ecology.’ And Mikhail Dzhabbarov will be appointed minister there. In my opinion, one ministry and one minister will be quite enough for the country.”
Some have rejoiced at the dismissal of Ramiz Mehdiyev, others do not understand the reasons for this joy.
“Is it really not clear that all this is being done in order to splurge, to create the appearance of “reforms”. Under such a regime, it doesn’t matter at all who takes what post,” writes activist and former political prisoner Qiyas Ibrahimov.