Azerbaijan leader sacks security minister
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday fired his powerful security minister in a surprise move that opposition politicians said highlights a lack of transparency in the tightly-controlled ex-Soviet nationâ€™s political system.
â€œI decree to relieve Eldar Mahmudov of the position of the Azerbaijani Republicâ€™s national security minister,â€ Aliyev said in a decree published on his website, giving no explanation for the decision.
Widely seen as Aliyevâ€™s loyalist, Mahmudov, 59, has served as Azerbaijanâ€™s national security minister since 2004.
Prominent Azerbaijani opposition politician, Isa Gambar, said the way Aliyev fired the veteran minister shows that â€œthere is no transparency whatsoever in political decision-makingâ€ in Azerbaijan.
â€œWhat happened to Mahmudov shows yet again how opaque Azerbaijanâ€™s political system is,â€ Gambar told AFP. â€œAliyev sacks a key government minister without explanation, on his sudden whim.â€
Leader of the opposition Popular Front party, Ali Kerimly, said: â€œAzerbaijan is an authoritarian country. Our president doesnâ€™t bother about explaining his decisions to society.â€
Critics have long accused Aliyev of authoritarianism, corruption, and rights abuses â€” claims he has furiously rejected.
He took over in 2003 on the death of his father Heydar Aliyev, a former KGB officer and communist-era leader who had ruled newly-independent Azerbaijan with an iron fist since 1993.
Please LOGIN or REGISTER To Gain Full Access To This Article