Azerbaijan’s leader names his wife vice president

PUBLISHED Tue, February 21, 2017 - 6:20am EST
Credit: Presidency

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has appointed his wife as the country's first vice president, just months after the position was created through a constitutional referendum. (more)

A brief statement from the presidency said First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva had been appointed First Vice-President at the order of Ilham Aliyev. The announcement was made on Tuesday morning during a meeting of the country's Security Council.

"Mr. President, I express my deep gratitude to you for this high confidence in me," Mehriban Aliyeva was quoted as saying by the Azerbaijan Press Agency. "I believe that I will be able to justify this confidence shown by you, Mr. President, and all the people that believe in me."

Mehriban Aliyeva added: "Over the past years, your ideas of statehood, patriotism, your courageous protection of Azerbaijan’s national interests, and your unity with the people of Azerbaijan, were an example for me and those who work with me, and guided our activities."

The appointment comes just months after voters approved dozens of constitutional amendments, including one that created the position of First Vice-President along with several other vice presidents. The first vice-president can be appointed or dismissed by the president.

Under the constitutional amendment, the first vice-president will become (acting) president if the president is incapacitated. Those duties previously devolved to the prime minister, who is now second in line after the first vice president.

First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, who is often described as glamorous and a prominent socialite, has long been rumored to be a likely successor for her husband. She is also the head of the influential Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which was named after her father-in-law and former president.

"The move throws Azerbaijan back to medieval, feudal times. Family rule has no place in the 21st century," opposition leader Isa Gambar of the Musavat party told the AFP news agency, responding to Tuesday's appointment.

The referendum in September also approved a number of other amendments, including one that extends the presidential term from five to seven years. President Ilham Aliyev has ruled the oil-rich Caspian nation since October 2003, when he took over from his father.






Happening Now

Polls open in Iraqi Kurdistan to vote on independence

Saudi Arabia Allows Women Into National Stadium for 1st Time

Merkel wins re-election as far-right AfD enters parliament

1 dead, 7 injured after gunman opens fire at Tennessee church

WATCH LIVE: Local TV coverage of the German general election


Listen to "BNO News - Breaking News Radio" on Spreaker.



Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!


1 dead, 7 injured after gunman opens fire at Tennessee church

‘Active shooter’ alert at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus

Active shooter on Elm Street in New Haven, at least 3 shot

North Korean foreign minister to address UN on Saturday

Florida Amber Alert: 4 children abducted from Bradenton


Martin Shkreli sent to jail for bounty on Hillary Clinton’s hair

‘The Sopranos’ actor Frank Vincent dead at 80

1 dead in shooting at Washington state high school

Major 8.2-magnitude earthquake strikes off southern Mexico

Credit reporting firm Equifax reports data breach affecting 143 million people