Updated 20.00 CET / 23.00 Baku
Comments continue to come in from different parts of Azerbaijani society concerning the appointment of Mehriban Aliyeva as !st Vice President. Vetran journalist and director of Turan News Agency, Mehman Aliev, told Meydan TV the appointment could mean the first step in the transfer of power from the family of Heidar Aliyev to the family of the new Vice president.
However, the ruling YAP party has warmly endorsed Mrs Aliyeva's appointment
Deputy Executive Secretary of YAP and senior MP Siyavoush Novruzov, told report.az that the appointment was timely."The public will appreciate appointment of Mehriban Aliyeva to this post. Everyone is well-aware of her activity. This is a success for Azerbaijan". He noted that Mehriban Aliyeva is quite well-known social and political figure in the world and represented Azerbaijan as a member of the Azerbaijani Parliament and president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. "Four acts of amnesty have been adopted so far at the initiative of Mehriban Aliyeva, which impacted over 40 000 persons. She headed Azerbaijan's most prestigious events as a chairperson of the Organizing Committee. These events were held very successfully", he said.
Updated at 18.00 CET / 21.00 Baku
Turkish President Recip Tayip Erdogan has congratulated Mehriban Aliyeva on her appointment as 1st Vice president of Azerbaijan. Erdogan had a telephone conversation this evening with both President Ilham Aliyev and with Vice President Aliyeva.
There has been a mixed reaction in Azerbaijan to the appointment of the country's first lady as 1st Vice president.
The news agency APA quoted the Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on legal policy and state building, Ali Huseynli as saying that Mehriban Aliyeva's appointment is a very important step towards strengthening of the statehood of Azerbaijan. "Thus, so far Mehriban Aliyeva contributed to the country's development as President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation or a member of parliament. Mrs.Mehriban also made her contribution on the way of statehood as an organizer of a number of international events and head of commissions. In this regard I can say that, Mrs.Mehriban has been the closest associate of the president and this appointment is desirable. Therefore, her appointment is praiseworthy and welcomed by the public. Mehriban Aliyeva has gained great respect for her skills, knowledge and the work she done. We are confident that this appointment will further accelerate the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan", Huseynli said.
The appointment was however criticised by a number of opposition figures, as well by a number of bloggers on social media networks. A leading opposition figure, Popular Front leader Ali Kerimli harshly criticised the appointment in a comment carried by the pro-opposition Meydan TV. Kerimli considered the appointment as an insult to the republican character of Azerbaijan.
Leading anti-government blogger, Khadija Ismailova in a number of comments on facebook said that the appointment should not be seen as a step forward for women but as a sign of nepotism.
Updated at 1400 CET/1700 Baku
The new First Vice president of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva made her first comments after her appointment whilst addressing the Azerbaijani national Security Council on Tuesday. Vice president Aliyeva spoke about the values of humanity, compassion, mutual respect, and kindness and promised to be guided by them in her new position, whilst serving the country. Mrs. Aliyeva stressed that she realizes the seriousness of the responsibility that came with her appointment to the post of First Vice President..
The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, has appointed his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, as First Vice president of Azerbaijan.
The appointment follows constitutional changes last year which saw provisions introduced for the creation of the office of 1st Vice President and Vice Presidents.
The President introduced the new Ist Vice President at a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday.
The 1st Vice President announced her appointment on her twitter feed
Mehriban Əliyeva Azərbaycanın Birinci vitse-prezidenti təyin edilib https://t.co/56Fz30Livi— Mehriban Aliyeva (@firstladyofaze) February 21, 2017
Reaction to the appointment in Azerbaijan have been mixed. Opposition personalities have criticised the appointment on social media.
(This story will be updated throughout the day).
photo: Azerbaijani First Vice President, Mehriban Aliyeva being introduced to members of the National Security Council on 20 February 2017.