Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has dismissed his powerful security minister in an unexpected move against an official who was widely seen as an Aliyev loyalist.
Aliyev announced the dismissal of National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov in a decree that was published on his website.
He did not provide any explanation for the decision.
The 59-year-old Mahmudov had served at the post since 2004.
Opposition politicians complained that Aliyev’s failure to explain the reason for Mahmudov’s firing showed that there is no transparency in the country’s political decision-making process.
Critics have long accused Aliyev of authoritarianism, corruption, and rights abuses.
Aliyev also dismissed his previous national security minister, Namig Abbassov, in July 2004 without providing any reason.