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Aliyev Appoints New Azerbaijani Cabinet

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

The most notable change in the new cabinet is the absence of Safar Abiyev (left, seen with President Ilham Aliyev at a military parade in 2011), who has served as defense minister.

The most notable change in the new cabinet is the absence of Safar Abiyev (left, seen with President Ilham Aliyev at a military parade in 2011), who has served as defense minister.

BAKU -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has appointed his new cabinet three days after his swearing-in for a third term in office.

Aliyev signed a decree on the appointments on October 22.

The new cabinet will be led by veteran Prime Minister Arthur Rasizade.

The most notable change is the replacement of the long-serving defense minister, Safar Abiyev, with Zakir Hasanov, who has commanded Interior Ministry forces.

Abiyev has often been criticized by independent and opposition media for widespread corruption and a growing number of deaths among conscripts in the army.

Hasanov was in charge of riot police forces, who have been involved in putting down opposition protests, and also in the official response to riots in the town of Quba, near Baku, and the central town of Ismayilli earlier this year.
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