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British expert: As Aliyev begins his eleventh year as president of Azerbaijan, and this is the moment for him to set a new political agenda for the country.

Yerevan. Ilham Aliyev has won reelection as president of Azerbaijan for a third term. The result was never in doubt. Nor was

the fact that election observers would criticize the conduct of the poll - the OSCE monitoring team promptly released a statement

describing a number of serious defects, writes British journalist Thomas de Waal in an article published at Carnegie Endowment site.

"Now it gets more interesting. As Aliyev begins his eleventh year as president of Azerbaijan, the huge shadow of his father and

predecessor inevitably begins to recede and this is the moment for him to set a new political agenda for the country, if he wants too. As I

have argued recently, a changing geopolitical environment means that he needs to do so or risk facing a whole new set of problems," the

article says.

According to de Waal, reading the runes in post-election Baku, there is already one important piece of news to ponder. This is

that under a presidential pardon former Economic Development Minister Farhad Aliyev has been released from jail, along with his

brother Rafik. He notes that Farhad Aliyev was jailed in 2005. Formally the charge was corruption but his imprisonment was obviously

the result of a political falling out, the expert writes. "Aliyev (Farhad - Ed.) had picked the wrong side in an internal power struggle and

got punished for it," the author writes.

"Farhad Aliyev had the reputation of being a modernizer, in favor of reforming the economy. Significantly, his only statement

on being granted his freedom was to declare loyalty to the president," de Waal notes.

It may be that the release of the former minister is the beginning of a thaw. If that is the case, other actions must follow,

including the release of other jailed political figures, such as Ilgar Mammadov.

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Publication:ArmInfo - Business Bulletin
Geographic Code:9AZER
Date:Oct 18, 2013
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