Aliyev Appoints Wife as Azerbaijan’s Vice-President

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (A.W.)—Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife Mehriban Aliyeva as the country’s Vice-President on Feb. 21, in a move that has been widely criticized as way for Aliyev to tighten his grip on power in the country.

According to a statement released on Azerbaijan’s official presidential website, the appointment came during meeting of the country’s Security Council under the chairmanship of the President.

A scene from the Security Council meeting, during which Mehriban Aliyeva was named Azerbaijan’s Vice-President. (Photo: Office of the President of Azerbaijan)

In Sept. 2016, Azerbaijan held a referendum, which extended presidential terms from five years to seven and created a strong Vice-Presidency.

Mehriban Aliyeva, 52, is a Member of Parliament and the deputy chair the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and heads the Heidar Aliyev Foundation—a non-governmental organization named after Aliyev’s father, former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, who ruled the country from 1993-2003.

Despite being active in Azerbaijani politics, leaked U.S. diplomatic cables revealed in 2010 that Aliyeva appears to be “poorly informed about political issues,” and that her family has vast business interests throughout Azerbaijan.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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