Protesters in Azerbaijan attempted to hold another unauthorized rally this weekend but police quickly intervened. A much smaller crowd gathered for this protest and RFE/RL notes that it may be more than the police crackdown that is driving down interest in the opposition.
Nair Aliyev, first deputy editor-in-chief of the Baku daily “Ekho,” told RFE/RL he, too, believes last week’s events have undermined the position of the opposition:
“The political climate is simmering with excitement. However, public opinion and politicians themselves are now much more interested in what’s happening within the government than with the radical opposition. What people are talking about today are the spectacular sackings and arrests of the past few days. This explains why [yesterday’s] opposition action did not arouse much interest. One must also say that Quliyev’s failure to return to Baku — whether authorities really prevented him from returning or, as some people say, he did not want to return — also played a role. People were ready to welcome him at the airport, but the fact that he never made it to Baku has dealt a severe blow to Azadliq,” Aliyev said.
Meanwhile, a political analyst with an unsufferably long title who works for the presidential administration has compared the opposition to Bolsheviks. It appears though that the basis of the charge has to do with a mere coincidence between the dates of the parliamentary election and the 1917 October Revolution. Of course, said analyst makes a leap and accuses the opposition of actually being Bolsheviks.
“Today’s unauthorized opposition rally, which will of course be dispersed, is one in a series of recent rehearsals for the staging of a coup d’etat, set for early November 7 — a revolution which our opposition calls ’orange’ for easy reference,” Akhundov said.
The Azadlyg opposition coalition is trying to accomplish an orange revolution with methods employed by the Bolsheviks during the 1917 October Revolution, he said. “If it is a success, they will make November 7 a red-letter day in Azerbaijan again, even though Russia has given up this holiday,” Akhundov said.
“The opposition must understand that Bolshevism will not be accepted today. The country is ruled by law and there is no chaos as in 1917. One can gain power only if supported by a majority of citizens. It is a tenet of democracy,” he continued.
Really, this guy is a laugh riot. He goes on to say the opposition could only win through vote rigging and that there is no way the Azeri government could tolerate such vile electoral practices.
For a roundup of the week in Azeri political news, visit neweurasia.