On Tuesday, 22nd February, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan appointed his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva as Vice President of the country.
The 55-year-old President of the oil-rich, Caspian Sea nation has ruled the authoritarian former Soviet republic for more than a decade.
According to a statement on the presidential website, the position of Vice President was created in a referendum in September and will help expand the president’s power as well as enable him to dissolve parliament at will.
The First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva was the best candidate for the position and the statement reveals her strengths and reasons why she qualified to double as the vice president of Azerbaijan.
Mehriban Aliyeva: 10 Reason Why She Was Appointed As Vice President
1. Mehriban Aliyeva has been married to President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan for 34-years, thus her husband knows and trusts her strengths, abilities and leadership skills enough to entrust her with the position.
2. The 52-year old leader was elected as a lawmaker in the federal parliament in 2005 two years after Aliyev took over the office from his father – Heydar Aliyev, who stepped down due to his critical health condition.
3. For years, Mehriban Aliyeva has been groomed by her husband and other members of the parliament on how to handle the affairs of the country.
4. Mehriban Aliyeva has been the first lady of Azerbaijan for 14-years and is likely to succeed her husband as President of Azerbaijan, thus needs to get closer to that position.
5. She is the head of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and was born into the most powerful family in Azerbaijans Times:
Her father, Arif Pashayev is Rector of the National Aviation Academy Baku; her mother, Aida Imanguliyeva was a prominent philologist and arabist; her grandfather, Mir Jalal Pashayev was a reputable writer and her uncle, Hafiz Pashayev was Azerbaijan’s first Ambassador to the United States.
6. She is a qualified physician and former eye doctor, who has been involved in several medical researches including one at the State Research Institute of Eye Diseases of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow.
7. Aliyeva has been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 2004, where her works promote oral and musical traditions.
8. According to BBC, Aliyeva was elected to the National Assembly of Azerbaijan in 2005 with 94% of the votes, after she had previously broken the tradition to help campaign for her husband in 2003, when he ran for President of Azerbaijan.
9. Aliyeva is an entrepreneur whose business interests include banking, insurance, construction, and travel. Her family was once accused of colluding with other powerful families to keep a monopoly-style hold on Azerbaijan’s big business.
10. She is a modern day monarchical leader as her choice of clothing, use of Botox and cosmetic surgeries portray her acceptance to freedom of expression and self-love.