Baku – 'the only capital in Europe without a mayor'
Baku has no mayor
‘Baku is the only capital in Europe that does not have a mayor’, experts say, noting the absence of an elected head of the city creates many problems in the largest city of Azerbaijan.
A law on the status of Baku has not yet been adopted.
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A law that does not exist
One of the most important conditions for the management of large cities in the modern world is the participation of residents in solving emerging problems.
Usually, this participation is due to the existence of a body formed by voters, stated the deputy of the Azerbaijani parliament Erkin Gadirli.
“Back in 2000, a law on territorial-administrative management was adopted in Azerbaijan. Under the provisions of the 5th article of this document, a separate law should be adopted to regulate issues regarding the capital of the country – the city of Baku.
21 years after the adoption of that law, we must state the fact that there is still no law on the status of Baku. Azerbaijan is currently the only member-state of the Council of Europe that does not have an elected mayor of the capital.
There was an occupation, a war … We understand these difficulties, but it’s all over. Now we need to seriously think about how to get rid of this deficiency”, MP Gadirli says.
“Baku is ruled chaotically”
Erkin Gadirli’s opinion is shared by Natiq Jafarli, one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Alternative party:
“The capital needs independent status and the allocation of budgetary funds sufficient to solve operational issues.”
With this approach, there is a direct connection between the voters – the population of the city and its leadership, the mayor bears direct responsibility to those who elected him, Jafarli says.
“The mayor is forced to fulfill obligations to the population of the city, because he needs to be elected for another term after a certain time.
What do we have now? All ministries and departments are located in Baku and all individually resolve issues arising in the capital without a centralized approach. In other words, the capital is managed chaotically”, Jafarli said.
At the moment, the head of Baku is nominally the head of the city’s executive branch, who is appointed by the president.