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Azerbaijani Opposition Accuses Security Ministry Of Plotting

AXCP Ali Kerimli (Turan) 22 August 2005 -- Azerbaijan's opposition Popular Front Party (AXCP) today accused the country's security forces of plotting to overthrow the party's leadership.

Ramiz Tagiyev, who is an adviser to AXCP Chairman Ali Kerimli, told reporters in Baku that a few weeks ago he let himself be recruited by officers of Azerbaijan's National Security Ministry with a view to foil their suspected plans ahead of the 6 November legislative polls.

Tagiyev said the arrest of opposition youth leader Ruslan Basirli was part of a plot to overthrow the AXCP leadership. Basirli was detained earlier this month on charges of receiving foreign money to overthrow the government. His arrest sparked a wave of antiopposition protests throughout the country.

Tagiyev today alleged that the security forces' plan envisaged the seizure of the AXCP Baku headquarters by pro-government protesters and the replacement of Kerimli by himself. There was no immediate comment from the Azerbaijani authorities.