Supporting a civilized, non-violent struggle in Azerbaijan
– Mr. Nurullayev, recently there has been a revival in the opposition camp. Recently, the oppositional National Council, and now oppositional “Musavat” party held actions, during these actions they were subjected to some pressure. As if an environment of political activism is being emerged. How do you rate this activism?
– The presence of political activism in the country is in favor of the people. Everyone’s expectation is that all this activism will be serving the interests of the people. Unfortunately, there are very strong tendencies to go beyond these expectations. As if some invisible hands control everyone’s political activity. In the case of the radical and implacable opposition, and in the case of the opposition, which seeks to solve problems in a civilized way, a tendency toward controllability is clearly observed. It seems strange to me that politicians like Ali Karimli, who is very radical and intransigent are believed by the people not to be sincere in their struggle. Thousands of people think that they are controlled, and all these are political games.
I am a supporter of a civilized struggle, but both oppositional and governmental politicians compose ballads about me. As if we sold ourselves to the authorities as if we were acting on orders. For my part, I categorically reject this, but, unfortunately, the people have little faith in the opposition. It is the result of the dirty campaign, day and night politicians reciprocally poured mud upon one another.
Today, the people are mobilizing, showing activism and raising the voice of discontent. Currently, there are those who want to lead the discontented people and manage their actions. I think that the people themselves will determine their leader, choose their Maidan leader, and he or she will not be from amongst the politicians left from the 90s.
– Representatives of the authorities believe that the opposition receives an order from foreign forces and seeks to create an unstable situation in the country. Do you share these judgments?
– There are foreign organizations that we meet with, discuss something, ask for help, also political parties, politicians cooperate with international organizations and political parties. Each foreign organization, each foreign citizen has its own state, its own interests. From this position, the presence of foreign orders is sometimes inevitable. But this cannot be attributed to every politician, political organization. Our political palette has its own colors and power, based on these colors, each of the opponents sticks a label to one another. The National Council, Ali Karimli, the Musavat party, and the REAL organization hold close meetings with organizations located abroad and send appeals to them. When the thoughts of foreign organizations and local political organizations coincide, their colors acquire a certain meaning. I want to say that not all of the organizations fulfill the order.
There is a second point. It seems that the swearing opposition that exists abroad supports the National Council and Ali Karimli. And the countries in which they are located do not limit them. And this seems to the authorities an explicit order of those very states. Can you imagine that Azerbaijanis living in Russia, Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other post-Soviet countries, including countries where authoritarianism is strong criticize, abuse and insult the authorities as freely as those living in Germany, France, America, and others countries? Or can you see that the citizens of those countries in Azerbaijan would show a similar swearing, insulting attitude towards their countries and incumbents?
In addition, insults and abuse wouldn’t be allowed by the Azerbaijani authorities towards the governments and politicians in the Western world. Azerbaijani authorities expect the same return, so there is a certain concern. But of course, there are also international, national, global and universal values. And this cannot be someone’s internal affair.
– It is interesting that such activism is usually observed when the authorities, and especially the President, begin to carry out reforms. It is also said that some forces from power structures are beginning to worry and support the opposition. How convincing is this version?
– Indeed, among those in power, there are also opponents of reform. This has already become systematic. Reforms, personnel changes lead to the fact that some officials lose their chairs. Nobody calls himself bad, no one recognizes himself as an inept staff, no one wants to part with his chair, no one reconciles with his or her old age. I must admit that the current government made it possible for every official to get rich illegally, to steal for a long time, but no one touched them. They lived luxuriously and comfortably. Now they do not want to part with that comfort life. Although they are removed from office, they are not arrested, their wealth is not taken away, and they continue to live like oligarchs. And some of them help the discontented. This means that they spit into the dishes from which they ate for 30 years. The fact that officials who stole millions, billions still live happily ever after leaving their posts annoys people and casts a shadow over the reforms. And the people are inclined not to perceive the reforms as reforms. Reforms are not systemic. This is not a full reform, rather permutations within the government. Even these permutations do not suit the people, us and others. Our attitude to the reshuffle of high-ranking and low-ranking officials is ambiguous.
– What do you think the opposition should do to improve the situation in the country?
– The opposition should demonstrate unity, should not get dirty with dirty deeds. It shouldn’t get down to business for political dividends, political capital, for dirty money, the origin of which is known to every voter, and which serve the interests of specific individuals. It is necessary that the opposition demonstrates stability, concreteness, and purposefulness in its policies and actions. For the sake of interests, one can unite, but one must not forget about beliefs and about the people. But these trends are so strong that destroy the opposition and extend the life of the authorities. Specific example. I am far from thinking of criticizing Mr. Ali Insanov. He has his own way, his own convictions. But he was a minister, stood at the origins of this power, defended it, and took the most radical position in relation to the opposition until he was arrested in 2005.
An attempt by the leader of Musavat Mr. Hajili gathering him and other ex-people with long-standing opposition to demonstrate unity has failed. They witnessed that the people did not accept this unity. Two days later, Ali Karimli proclaimed the National Council as the center of power. A unity show burst like a soap bubble. But the conclusion is this: the old opposition guard can take the initiative into its own hands, gather people at some point, make fiery speeches, but the process will not be effective. If let the people be the hostages of their will, then in the next 30 years or so the same processes will be flashed back. And the way out I see is that it is necessary to unite forces that are not very related to the old guard, can think sensibly and see political realities, and create a new center of power. In the near future we will unveil the formula how and from whom this center of power can be formed, we will put forward a completely different and most acceptable format for everyone!
– What can be done if the evolutionary path, the path of proposals or other loyal methods of struggle remain inconclusive?
– Not a single party like ours has made so many proposals to the authorities. They responded to some of them, to some didn’t. Although the president has the political will, it is not very sharp for now. When it becomes acute, then all proposals may be implemented. As I already noted, we are developing a new format of struggle and will soon introduce it. I hope that the results will be serious and you will find the answer to your question in the format.
– But for some reason, you have stayed away from these discussions. The most interesting thing is that you’re not accepted either in the camp of the opposition or in the camp of the authorities. What is the reason for this?
– Partially true. I have no serious support either from the authorities or from the opposition camp. However, I feel a great love of the people and this is the most valuable thing for me. One of the reasons I am not accepted as such is that both I and Ali Karimli are claiming the name of PFPA. Apparently, both the authorities and the traditional opposition recognize the Popular Front Party in the person of Ali Karimli as he’s been at the reign since 1997. But time has changed, one cannot remain in the opposition chair for decades with zero results. The fact is nobody tells us “we don’t recognize you” so that we choose what steps to take in this name claim. The second reason is that I think absolutely differently. My maneuvers worry on both sides. Those who claim power think that I can claim their chairs, seats and the opposition believes that I seized their opportunities to maneuver. I believe that I have the potential. Today, I have not even revealed 0.1% of my potential, I am not a fan of shooting at kites. They understand that when political processes normalize, and I begin to communicate directly with the people, there are few politicians who can resist me. And the third reason is that I do not serve anyone. We have our own way, and this is the way of serving the people. Our opponents on both sides only do that blacken us. We managed to neutralize this, and finally, we go on a relatively flat road. There are already parties, people who think like us. And we will share the format of a new unity with them.