Azerbaijan Leader Appoints His Wife as Country’s First Vice President

Mehriban and Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, 55, on Tuesday picked
his wife wife Mehriban, as the first vice president of the ex-Soviet nation who
is the person next in line in the country’s power hierarchy.

The position was created after a constitutional referendum
in September 2016. Mehriban now 52, previously a lawmaker, got married to her
husband since age 19, a graduate from a medical university.
At the referendum, the introduction of two vice presidents
was approved in the amended constitution and one of them is that of the
first vice president.
The first vice president takes over the seat of power in the
absence of the president. The duties of the first vice president was not
specified but overseeing of the cabinet is expected to be one.
Aliyev’s critics say the September referendum that also
extended the presidential term from five to seven years effectively cemented a
dynastic rule. In 2003, Aliyev succeeded his father, who had ruled 
first as the Communist Party boss and then as a post-Soviet president for the
greater part of three decades.

Critics say that the September referendum which allowed
extension of five to seven years rule has successfully paved way a dynastic
rule. In 2003, Aliyev took over from his father who initially ruled Azerbaijan as
a Communist Party Boss and later as a Post-Soviet president for almost three
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