The ruling New Azerbaijan party underwent significant changes
On March 5, Azerbaijan’s ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) held its 7th congress, where it adopted a new organisational charter and removed several senior officials. The party decided to abolish the Political Council of 84 members while establishing the Council of Veterans. The new body with 40 members should be led by the former Vice-Speaker of Parliament Arif Rahimzadeh.
As Caucasus Watch informs, a new composition of the Control and Auditing Commission of 13 members has been formed. Also, the former vice-speaker of parliament and now head of the State Committee for Women, Family and Child Affairs, Bahar Muradova, became the head of the Women’s Council of the party.
Moreover, a decision was made to merge several de facto inactive small parties – People’s Democratic Party, Yurddash, National Salvation, National Action, and the Democratic Party of Owners – with the NAP.
Several significant personal changes followed. Mehriban Aliyeva, Azerbaijan’s First Lady and the First Vice-President has been appointed as First Deputy Chair of the ruling party, Ali Ahmadov as Deputy Chair, Tahir Budagov Deputy Chair – Head of Central Apparatus with an order of Chair of the New Azerbaijan Party Ilham Aliyev.
As Turan.az stressed in its article, a number of former officials were removed from the Board of the organisation. In particular, this is the former assistant to the president for public and political issues Ali Hasanov; the former head of the Baku Executive Power Hajibala Abutalibov; the former chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov; the former head of the presidential administration, now the president of the National Academy of Sciences Ramiz Mehdiyev; and the former Executive Secretary, MP Siyavush Novruzov.
Public activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev told Turan.az, he considers changes in the New Azerbaijan Party to be long overdue. “The party practically cannot perform any function and play a role in society. In addition, it has greatly lost its credibility,” Hajiyev said. However, the true goal of the congress was not to increase the authority of the party but to get rid of a number of odious figures. “I believe that this was done to neutralise the resources in the hands of these persons, to limit their influence on political parties,” he believes.
The activist does not exclude that shortly some measures will be taken against the former members of the Political Council and the Board, up to the institution of criminal cases. This will give the Yeni Azerbaijan Party a reason to renounce these persons.