TODAY.AZ / Politics

Araz Alizade: "Most citizens of our country will vote for working president Ilham Aliyev at the upcoming presidential elections"

22 September 2008 [14:26] - TODAY.AZ
Day.Az interview with co-chair of the Social-Democratic Party Araz Alizade.
- The Russian community of Azerbaijan is marking its 15th anniversary these days. Do you think the role of the local Russian-speaking community is great in the life of present-day Azerbaijan?

- I have never supported the division of people, residing in Azerbaijan, into Russian-speaking and Azerbaijani-speaking. For me there is no difference between the Russian-speaking and Azerbaijani-speaking citizens of our country. But, answering your question, I would like to say that the Russian community of Azerbaijan and our Russian-speaking citizens could have been more active in the sociopolitical life of the country.

Moreover, I consider that the attitude to Russian-speaking citizens of our country has improved recently, though we have not managed to completely overcome the artificial obstacles, created for this category of our citizens in the short period of ruling of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, which was striving for the complete Turkization of our country.

Low intellectual politicians, ruling the country, advocated the discriminative policy towards the Russian language. Sometime, it came  to an absurd: one of the leading political figures, heading the opposition party, mostly selected by regional principle, said one day that he considers Dostoevsky to be a harmful writer, as after reading his works, this politician did not want to live. Time passed and this politician is still alive. Perhaps, he quited reading Dostoevsky.

As for the political activeness of local Russian-speaking community, it is, unfortunately, too amorphous. I think this wide category of population of Azerbaijan could have been more active in the political life of the country.

- What is the reason of their being passive?

- It is more likely to be connected with the poor state of local Russian-speaking citizens in period of the Popular Front. At that period, when it became dangerous to speak in Russian in Azerbaijan, the local Russian-speaking citizens developed a fear, which transformed into the political passiveness, unwillingness to take part in the political processes for "it may lead to something undesired". Though the period of Popular Front's ruling was short-term and other political powers have been at Azerbaijan's government for already 15 years, but fear is a powerful thing.

Therefore, I am for recognizing the Russian language as a language of international communication in Azerbaijan. Only by this way it will be possible to eliminate the remnants of fear, preventing the local Russian-speaking citizens from taking a more active part in the political processes, ongoing in Azerbaijan. It should be noted that despite their being inactive, it is the Russian-speaking population of our country, which pushes us towards the progress.

- But how would you comment on the unwise opinion that the local Russian-speaking people are "the fifth column of Russia"?

- Such talks can only be called a debility. Those, who are unable to hold a normal and founded debates, preferring to make groundless and false accusations, try to hide the lack of intellect under this marasmus.

- In the conclusion, whom, do you think, will Russian-speaking citizens of Azerbaijan support at the upcoming presidential elections?

- I am sure that not only the Azerbaijani Russian-speaking citizens, but also most citizens of our country will vote for the working president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, which is clear, for Ilham Aliyev is a favorite, who has no worthy rivals both among the candidates, participating in the presidential elections and among politicians, representing the opposition parties, boycotting the elections.


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