Ramiz Mehdiyev, former long-time chief of staff to the President of Azerbaijan and President of the Academy of Sciences, has become the target of criticism. On August 18, he organized his grandson's wedding in a summer house near Baku, to which representatives of the Azerbaijani elite were invited.
Police intervened, arrested Mehdiyev's son-in-law, took him to court in handcuffs and released him after a fine of 400 manat. Siavush Novruzov, deputy executive secretary of the ruling ‘Yeni Azerbaijan’ party and a member of the Milli Mejlis, was also fined the same amount. The latter resigned from the party the next day and stated that Mehdiyev had deceived everyone, stated that he had permission from Ilham Aliyev for a wedding ceremony, and even "Mr. President called and congratulated the newlyweds."
The press publishes sharp critical articles against Mehdiyev, but he does not seem to intend to give up easily. The official website of the National Academy of Sciences has denied the rumors that Mehdiyev is on vacation and will not return to office. Mehdiyev's lengthy comment was published in the same place, where he never gives the name of Ilham Aliyev, does not show loyalty to his policy. On the contrary, the former high-ranking official assesses the attitude of the press towards himself and his family as "applying a double standard". Without giving names, he remembers some high-ranking officials who also organized celebrations in the face of the epidemic, but the government did not take punitive action against them.
According to Azerbaijani exiled journalist Rauf Mirkadirov, Mehdiyev "raised the glove thrown at him." It is believed that Ilham Aliyev intends to remove Mehdiyev from the post of President of the Academy of Sciences and remove all circles of power from his people. Mehdiyev seems to be trying to organize resistance. It is reported that envoys from around him visited Moscow, where they met with former First Deputy Prime Minister Abbas Abbasov to discuss issues related to the formation of an anti-Aliyev front. Whether this news is true or not is extremely uncertain. Abbas Abbasov has previously been accused of forming an anti-Aliyev group.
Are there any resources for Mehdiyev to stay in power? The impression is that without the support of official Moscow, it will be very difficult for him to resist and, especially, to restore the damaged reputation. Mehdiyev will most likely surrender, but only if he has certain guarantees.
Will Aliyev give such guarantees?