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“As Long as the Leading Elite Remains United, the People Will Have Practically No Chance to Seize Power”


Right now, due to the proximity of legislative elections, Azerbaijan’s internal situation is tense. It seems as if the various political forces in the country were studying each other to see who’s the strongest. The pressures of international organizations on the government remain the same, the difference being that they won’t close their eyes as they did in the past. These organizations are sick of the government’s whims. The world has changed and Azerbaijan cannot be oblivious of the democratization process. The way to democracy was started under the U.S. sponsorship. The stability stories called upon by the Azeri power from long ago are not enough anymore, Condoleezza Rice insisted on the fact that the United States is not willing to substitute democracy for stability. This country is establishing a global security system and without democracy the system won’t see the light. I don’t believe the Azeri power could be so stupid as not to realize the seriousness of the world’s situation. I will soon visit the United States to clarify this state of affairs.
Everything will depend on the government’s attitude toward these elections. If a revolution arises, I will be with the people one more time. This could be avoided if the elections developed normally. I think that previous failures in Azerbaijan were due to lack of opposition within the leading elite. There are people in this circle that consider reforms to be essential. As long as they talk, nobody will pay attention, but as soon as they act, they will actually arise the people’s interest. Without divisions within the elites, there would not have been a velvet revolution in Georgia or Ukraine. I’ve heard it said that the Minister of Economic Development Farkhad Aliev wanted to get dressed as a democrat and as an opponent and repeat the great deed of Yushchenko and Saakashvili. I don’t know whether that’s true but a man who spoiled the privatizations and is involved in corruption cannot lead the people.
I chose the “Yes” block as it represents all the strata of society. I still think that all the opposition forces in the country should get together for the legislative elections. It was the electoral commission that caused the frauds during the last elections. So, it must be replaced. Regrettably, the government does not want to have anything to do with this sphere.
According to my predictions, there will be un uprising in the country. We are in favor that all sides should respect the law. We must stay at the institutional level, this is a responsibility we have got with the country and the people. I think that the head of state is not controlling the situation in the country or within his own team. Each one of his ministers thinks himself president. If the president took his functions seriously, he should introduce reforms and get rid of the corrupt ministers around him. I don’t think anything of the kind is happening at the moment.

Gazeta SNG (Russia)
Gazeta SNG is an online news daily in Russian language.

Пока не произойдет разделение внутри самой правящей элиты, шансы на приход к власти с улицы ничтожно малы”, by Etibar Mamedov,Gazeta SNG, June 24, 2005. Adaptation from an interview.

Etibar Mamedov

Etibar Mamedov - secretary of the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (AMIP) and one of its founders - is a major figure in the Azeri opposition.

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