The Political Council of the ruling party, Yeni (New) Azerbaijan, yesterday issued a statement calling for a special session of parliament and a party conference to discuss the conduct of parliament chairman Rasul Guliev. The Political Council, without going into specifics, accused Guliev of placing his own ambitions above society’s interests, failing to acknowledge the country’s advances toward economic reform, favoring control of the economy by a small number of individuals, and generating political tensions through his actions. President Haydar Aliev’s chief economic adviser had already signaled in a televised interview over the weekend that the president has resolved to remove Guliev.(Interfax, September 8 and 9)
Guliev, a former oil executive, second only to Aliev in the country’s hierarchy and until recently a loyal associate of the president, has recently supported accelerating the tempo of economic reforms. Aliev’s economic advisers feel that accelaration of the reforms would risk producing a social backlash. They are above all concerned to avoid a rapid growth of unemployment before the new oil wealth would enable the country to develop a modern service sector and other employment opportunities.
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