Azerbaijan faces generational change of political elite – Azernews

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

A change of generations of the political elite is underway in Azerbaijan – and this is a fairly natural process that began last year with the resignation of ex-Prime Minister Arthur Rasizade, leading expert of the Georgian Strategic Analysis Center Gela Vasadze said in an interview with Azernews.

“It seems that the changes were carefully thought out and prepared for. There was no other way. Apart from the purely biological reasons for reformatting the authorities, there are technological ones. The world is changing and without changing the political elite, it is impossible to imagine a worthy answer to all the challenges that are facing both Azerbaijan and the region as a whole,” the expert said.

“Essentially, the question is about the convergence of the new and the old, traditional approaches and new technologies. Therefore, we would like to hope that in time Azerbaijan will get rid of everything that hinders the progress, which essentially makes Azerbaijan better,” said Vasadze.

He believes that the steps taken will improve the economy, which means that both the elites and the population of the country are interested in them. “I am sure that everything will work out,” Vasadze concluded.

In turn, Turkish political scientist, leading expert of “Ankara-Moscow” analytical network Engin Ozer said that with the ongoing structural and personnel reforms carried out by President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s economy has entered a new development stage.

Ozer believes that the reforms will effectively fight corruption and bureaucracy.

“This situation is inherent in all post-Soviet countries. Azerbaijan needs a new generation that can implement the announced reforms. In short, the staff must change,” Ozer noted.

As he emphasized, almost all oil-producing countries today are contemplating about a new economic vision, strategy, while this process has already begun in Azerbaijan.

“The decisions of President Aliyev are logical. I hope that this will allow raising Azerbaijan’s economy to a higher level, eliminating corruption and bureaucracy. A reboot is starting in the Azerbaijani economy,” Ozer concluded.

In the meantime, founder of the PolitRUS expert-analytical network Vitaly Arkov believes that the experience of structural and personnel reforms carried out in Azerbaijan will be useful for other post-Soviet countries.

Arkov does not believe that the rotation of personnel means that the former ministers were inefficient. They successfully coped with their duties in the context of realities of the past, Arkov believes.

“However, a serious rotation testifies to the implementation in Azerbaijan of the second package of important economic transformations announced earlier by the head of state, which requires different approaches. As a result, managers of a different format, are able to meet new global challenges facing the country,” Arkov emphasized.

He noted that a significant part of the economic problems in Azerbaijan are also characteristic of many other former Soviet republics, including Russia.

“With this regard, the exchange of positive experience is valuable. In some ways, Azerbaijan can learn from Moscow and Minsk, but in some ways, on the contrary, leaders in Russia and Belarus can benefit from Azerbaijan’s experience,” Arkov said.

The expert believes that Azerbaijan’s rapprochement with the Eurasian Economic Union is a positive step for the country’s economy.

“This is an influx of additional investments, the creation of new jobs, the growth of exports of Azerbaijani products, the increase in budget revenues (as a result, the implementation of a larger number of social programs and large-scale infrastructure projects) and, of course, improving the quality of life of the country’s citizens, which is the main task of the Azerbaijani leadership,” Arkov concluded.

On October 21, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to dismiss Hajibala Abutalibov from the post of deputy prime minister. The next day, president signed another decree to dismiss Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev from his position.

On October 23, Ramiz Mehdiyev was dismissed from his post as head of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan. On the same day, Mikayil Jabbarov was dismissed from his post of Azerbaijan’s Minister of Taxes.