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Azerbaijan: Troop Movements Reported On Eve Of Parliament Session

Baku, 10 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - The atmosphere in Baku is described as tense on the eve of a scheduled parliament session during which efforts are expected to try to discipline or even remove Parliament Chairman Rasul Guliev.

Reports from Baku cite troop movements in Azerbaijan's capital city, with deployments reported around the office of President Gaidar Aliyev and other strategic sites, according to RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service.

Yesterday, Aliev's ruling New Azerbaijan party released a statement sharply criticizing Guliev. The party statement cited recent statements by Guliev in which he criticized the government's economic course and called for faster reforms.

The party statement said the parliament chairman is damaging the country's international prestige and scaring foreign investors "in order to keep the economy under the control of a small group of people." The party statement called on the parliament, dominated by its members, to take disciplinary steps against Guliev.

Guliev is associated with Azerbaijan's oil business, and is believed to be one of the country's richest men.