President Ilham Aliyev noted the completion of a referendum on changes to the Constitution by the opening of the Heydar Aliyev Center in Sumgayit and by his speech to the party and economic asset.
Thus, he pointedly symbolized the consistency and continuity of policy, both before and after the referendum.
In his speech, Aliyev made a major emphasis on an independent course of his policy, the absence of any external dependencies, and the impact of external forces on Azerbaijan. Aliyev as if is trying to tell the audience that the decision on the referendum and its results are the fruit of his thoughts, and not an export material of foreign centers of influence.
Centers of influence, in turn, showing a sluggish reaction to what is happening, namely the unprecedented concentration of unlimited power in the hands of Aliyev, in fact, showed his personal participation in the referendum process - starting from the initiatives and ending with the results.
Whatever it was, the referendum and its results actually become an annex to the program of reforms, which should be launched in the near future and will be the main constitution of the country for the next decade. The program is to be confirmed in the international financial centers, and its implementation will take place under their unremitting attention.
Further development of the country and the fate of the government will be ordained by this program, and not the Constitution, which, as experience of modern Azerbaijan has shown, is only a declarative document, which
all respect, but not perform. In this sense, under the current political regime, even if the most democratic standards are made in the constitution, they would still fulfill the function of a mosaic decoration of the external facade of the authoritarian state.
The audience on which the president’s speech is directed also understands it. The manner of listening to Aliyev’s speech was different to some extent: some listened with emotion the charges of the president against Musavat-front opposition, and assurances of independence policy. Most listeners perceive the speech stone-faced, without expressing any emotion. It was summed response, or the electors that did not vote at referendum.
President Aliyev knows well the mood of 5 million voters affected by the deep and endless crisis, financial losses, and the uncertainty in the future. But he has always been consistent on the successful development and hostile environment. This line has never changed over 13 years of his stay in power, and it was mainly due to the consistent increase in oil revenues.
Now these two lines are at the crossroads of the discrepancy, and the regime will have to rebuild its yesterday's general line of building an authoritarian, mafia state in accordance with the realities of the day. The referendum, in fact, preceded the reform, about which so long spoke the West, but did not want to hear in the Aliyev’s administration. From the speech of the president it becomes clear that the only question now is how to present reforms as a product of his ideas, and nothing more.