Azerbaijan’s parliament has held an extraordinary session to approve the ruling party’s proposal to dissolve the acting parliament and call snap general elections.
The session was called by Ogtay Asadov, the speaker of the parliament, on November 29 at the request of lawmakers of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), which dominates the national assembly.
The lawmakers addressed the appeal of the ruling party’s lawmakers “in connection with the dissolution of parliament” and voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, which backs President Ilham Aliyev’s recent policy on continuing changes in the country.
“The reform policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev has reached a qualitatively new level in recent months. Structural and personnel changes carried out in the Cabinet of Ministers, central and local executive authorities, the judicial system – meaning in all spheres – have been positively accepted by population. The systemic nature of the reforms, new challenges, expectations of society and other factors led to deepening of reforms and in the legislature and the renewal of the parliament,” Asadov said on December 2 while addressing the lawmakers in the parliamentary session.
On November 28, the political council of the ruling party adopted a resolution recommending its lawmakers in parliament to initiate the parliament’s dissolution and ask the president to hold snap parliamentary elections.
The political council stated the decision was made in support of President Ilham Aliyev's newly started political reforms including personnel changes.
Speaking at the council, YAP executive secretary Ali Ahmadov stated that various important reforms have been undertaken by President Ilham Aliyev in 2019, and that the modernization of the Azerbaijani parliament is vital for the successful implementation of the president-led political reforms. He added that according to the recent referendum, the president has the power to dissolve the parliament under certain conditions. “I believe the decision will contribute to the formation of a new tradition in parliament. ”
More than half of the current legislation body of Azerbaijan are members of the ruling party.
The parliament in Azerbaijan can be dissolved only by the president, and can happen if the parliament holds a no-confidence vote on the Cabinet of Ministers twice in a year, fails to appoint the necessary number of candidates for collegial activities of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and the Central Bank’s Board, or if the legislative body does not fulfill its duties such as reviewing the submitted projects within 20 days and approving them within 14 days.
Currently, parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan are set to be held in 2020.
Opposition leaders said the expected party dissolution had nothing to do with reforms. They believe it is one more attempt by the authorities to hasten elections and then falsify them.
“Some preparations are going on to strengthen the dynasty regime in Azerbaijan,” ReAL chair Ilgar Mammadov said while addressing the YAP's initiative to dissolve the parliament.
According to Mammadov, the arguments presented by the ruling party are groundless.
“The foundation of the republic have been so far shaken and weakened, making it deliberately move towards monarchy, and the upcoming parliamentary elections are one of the most important stages for the Azerbaijani citizens to decide and make a historical choice", Mammadov stated.