First VP Mehriban Aliyeva to become outstanding statesperson, says Gusman

Tracy FergusonFeb 22, 2017

Ms Aliyeva has been a member of parliament since 2005 and heads the influential Heydar Aliyev Foundation, a charity dedicated to preserving the memory of her father-in-law, who was Azerbaijan's former president.

A scene from the Security Council meeting, during which Mehriban Aliyeva was named Azerbaijan's vice-president.

Her official title will be First Vice President, a post that was created past year following a referendum on constitutional changes.

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Aliyev, 55, who has been president since taking over from his father Heydar Aliyev in 2003, made the announcement on the official presidency website, Efe news reported. "Mehriban Aliyeva, for many years, has played an important and active role in the sociopolitical life of the country, our cultural life", he said, quoted in the news agency Trend.

A citizen of the Azerbaijani Republic, possessing voting right and university degree, having no liabilities in other states, can be appointed to the post of Vice-President of the Azerbaijani Republic.

Azerbaijan's opposition reacted furiously to Mr Aliyev's decision, saying family rule had no place in the 21st century. If the First Vice-President of the Azerbaijani Republic resigns, becomes incapable of carrying out his/her powers due to illness, the Vice-President of the Azerbaijan Republic gets the status of the First Vice-President and carries out duties of the President.

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"This appointment shows disrespect to the people", Ali Kerimli, leader of one of Azerbaijan's opposition parties, told Reuters. That post is vacant.

Last year, low oil prices pushed up prices for basic goods, subsequently sparking a number of riots in some cities outside of the capital, Baku. The leaked cables also derided her expensive taste in fashions and cosmetic surgery.

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