First lady turned first vice president

The Turkish President extended his congratulations on Mehriban Aliyeva's appointment as First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Mehriban Aliyeva, who has been appointed the First Vice President of Azerbaijan, thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the high confidence in her, Azerbaijan's AzTV channel reported.

"Mehriban Aliyeva is a very professional, clever, experienced, principled and benevolent person", Aliyev told a meeting of Azerbaijan's Security Council.

The appointment follows constitutional changes made after a tightly-managed referendum past year that introduced the powerful position of first vice president.

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Mehriban's official title will be First Vice President.

She and her husband have two adult daughters and a student son.

Ilham Aliyev's hold on power was tested a year ago when low prices for Azerbaijan's main export, oil, hit the currency and pushed up prices for staple goods like flour.

The constitution does not spell out the first vice president's powers, but it is expected they will include overseeing the cabinet.

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European institutions and rights bodies have accused the Azeri authorities of curbing free expression and preventing fair elections.

Last year, low oil prices pushed up prices for basic goods, subsequently sparking a number of riots in some cities outside of the capital, Baku.

"The move throws Azerbaijan back to medieval, feudal times", opposition leader Isa Gambar of Musavat party said.

She heads the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Azerbaijan's largest non-governmental organization.

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Lewis, he said, "freely gave a buccal swab of his DNA". "Each one was vetted painstakingly by detectives", he said. The case had baffled detectives and spooked a normally quiet neighborhood that sees little crime.

According to the leaks, "When she received Members of Congress in 2008, she appeared poorly informed about political issues and could only respond knowledgeably about issues relating to the Heydar Aliyev Fund".


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