By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Recent reshuffle within the Azerbaijani government has to do with President Ilham Aliyev’s staff reforms, Israeli expert in international relations Arye Gut said in an interview with Azernews.
"Aliyev destroys conservative notions with regard to staff policies. The reformist president is the person who changes the country and its real face. The scale of personnel changes within the government is so large that it takes time to prepare it. In other words, structural and personnel changes are not spontaneous, but a really regulated process," Gut stated.
He stressed that along with the rejuvenation of the Cabinet of Ministers, Aliyev continues deep structural reforms. According to the decree of President Aliyev on expanding the functions and structure of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Taxes of Azerbaijan, the State Committee for Property Issues of Azerbaijan and the State Agency for Antimonopoly Policy and Supervision of the Consumer Market are included in the structure of the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan in the status of corresponding state services.
Over the past 15 days, serious personnel reforms have been launched, he added.
"It once again confirms that Aliyev really requires his ministers to change and improve the situation in the non-oil sector, including foreign investment in this sector, improving the business climate, and economic development not at the expense of state investments, but at the expense of the private sector," Gut stressed.
Gut believes that Aliyev’s message is laconic and clear: “Reforms are the imperative of our time and they are inevitable”.
"Combining a successful synthesis of democratic values, aristocratic manners, rational thinking, unwavering patriotism and national mentality, Aliyev, thanks to these qualities, brought a new breath, modernity, innovation, reformism and genuine pragmatism to Azerbaijani politics," Gut stressed.
Pointing out to the latest developments around the staff policies, Gut said they reflect post-oil reforms in Azerbaijan. Over the past two weeks, very important staff changes were made, which lead to the following conclusions: "Firstly, this suggests that personnel reforms will be carried out at the highest level of the political establishment. This indicates the real political will of the President of Azerbaijan. Aliyev is most likely creating a new reform model of Azerbaijan and new state management. He frankly announced a new wave of economic and personnel reforms - young modern staff with new thinking and new vision, dramatic updates, real reforms," Gut said.
"Secondly, these two weeks confirm the necessity and irreversibility, as well as the expansion of these staff and economic reforms. As we have seen, these personnel reforms have affected not only the Azerbaijani government but also the Presidential Administration. The actual generational change of the political establishment took place in Azerbaijan, demonstrating the deepest respect for those who for many years were the pillars of modern Azerbaijani statehood. We heard only the words of gratitude of the president for his contribution to the development of a strong, independent and successful Azerbaijan. This once again proves that this is not just personnel reforms, but also important structural reforms, as well as important reforms in the field of political and economic management of the country," Gut continued.
Touching upon an economic block, the expert noticed the beginning of powerful cardinal reforms.
"The appointment of a talented, educated and worthy reformer minister Mikayil Jabbarov to the post of Minister of Economy and the unification of the Ministry of Taxes and State Property within the Ministry of Economy indicates the beginning of serious cardinal reforms in Azerbaijan in the field of taxation and the real fight against monopolies," he noted.
Gut considers Jabbarov a real reformer, who in a short time managed to implement and gave a real impetus to reforms at the Minister of Education and the Minister of Taxes. In particular, Jabbarov carried out a truly incredible fiscal reform, the expert said.
"If Jabbarov defines real agenda and objectives, he begins to fulfill them in a very short period of time," Gut emphasized.
Explaining how Jabbarov implements these reforms, Gut pointed to the firm practical grasp and pragmatism, as well as to the systematic approach displayed by the minister.
Gut reminded Jabbarov’s successful experience on the real changes in the Ministry of Taxes. At the same time, he added, “Jabbarov carried out staff reforms, while not causing any discontent”.
"Jabbarov manages the country's most powerful and, at the same time, strategic for the country Ministry of Economy, which includes taxes, state property and the antimonopoly committee. Thus, it is Jabbarov who will largely manage the overall economic situation in the country. This, in principle, is correct, since a unified reformist and innovative thinking, a correct, clear and unified approach to economic problems is necessary," Gut concluded.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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