Azerbaijan President Appoints Wife as Vice-President

Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev, appointed his wife Mehriban as the first vice president. The position of Vice-President was created after a constitutional referendum in September 2016.

Mehriban has served previously as a lawmaker and headed a charity.

The constitutional amendments approved at the referendum introduced the positions of two vice presidents, one of them the first vice president.

The first vice president takes over the presidency if the president is unable to perform his or her duties. It doesn’t describe the first vice president’s duties, but it’s expected that they will include overseeing the Cabinet.

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 Azerbaijan first as the Communist Party boss and then as a post-Soviet president for the greater part of three decades.