Azerbaijani MP supports move to parliamentary republic, but says current constitutional amendments are necessary for stability
25 August 2016

Gudrat Hassanguliev leader of the small WAPFP and himself a presidential candidate in the  2008 presidential elections said Karabakh could also be a factor given Russian eagerness to push for a solution but warned that  "A free piece of cheese can only be found on a bait".

A prominent Azerbaijani MP, who heads a small political party - WAPFP, - and was himself a candidate in the 2008 presidential election, stated in a statement carried by the news agency APA that the constitutional changes that will be voted on in a national referendum on 26 September were part of an effort to ensure the country's stability.

"We see some countries, even the ones that are close to us, being engulfed in chaos one after another. For example, the situation in Ukraine, a country close to Azerbaijan, is a clear case. We also see terrorist acts, internal strife, and arrests shaking Turkey since the coup attempt. I think the primary goal behind the proposed amendments and additions to the constitution is to ensure security and lasting stability in Azerbaijan. For this particular reason, the term of the presidency is going to be prolonged," he said.

Hasanguliyev said that the newly created vice-presidents will not be authorized to make decisions.

"Under the current law in Azerbaijan, decisions are made by the Cabinet of Ministers. That is, the Cabinet of Ministers and the prime minister remain in place, and if the first vice president is missing, presidential powers are passed on to the prime minister. Had any of the powers of prime minister been taken away, we could think in a different way. So I think the institute of vice presidents is going to be created in order to strengthen control on different areas. For now, it's the prime minister who has control over the execution of decisions. The number of ministries in Azerbaijan is extremely high. The Cabinet of Ministers has up to 40 members. Vice presidents will work on presidential instructions or with the president. That will allow the president to get quickly information, give swifter reactions and make swifter decisions, and have stronger control. Vice presidents will surely be divided into positions," he said.

He noted that the second factor that necessitates the reforms is the Karabakh problem.

"The way Russia acts as to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem tells us that they now want this problem solved by any means. It's a bit difficult for me to analyze what they really intend to achieve. Is it possible that Russia truly wants peace in the Caucasus and in this way be known in the world as a peacemaker? If Russia does it without expecting anything in return, it means this country has some plan for the stage to come," Hasanguliyev stressed, using an old Azerbaijani proverb: "A free piece of cheese can only be found on a bait"

The WAPFP chairman says it is necessary to strengthen the institute of presidency in order to protect Azerbaijan against any danger.

"In one word, the main factor necessitating the referendum is the bloody and horrible developments raging across the world. On the other hand, there is a need for some real steps to be taken towards the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. In case such a step is taken, either peacefully or militarily, the central government needs strengthening," he stressed.

As for the WAPFP position on state model in Azerbaijan, Hasanguliyev said he favors Azerbaijan shifting to the model of parliamentary republic in the future.

source: with APA

Photo Azerbaijani MP Gudrat Hasanguliev (archive picture)