Azerbaijan vows action against corruption

Azerbaijan vows action against corruption

Azerbaijan vows action against corruption

President Ilham Aliyev. AA Photo

Azerbaijani authorities have taken action after President Ilham Aliyev urged a strengthening of the fight against corruption in the country after a former lawmaker from Aliyev’s ruling party was arrested over a corruption scandal.

“Fighting corruption and bribery must be strengthened,” the president said Feb. 13 at a conference on the results of the fourth year of the “State Program on Socio-Economic Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan 2009-2013.”

“I think that we have not achieved the desired results in this case, despite the fact that measures are being taken and will continue to be taken. Unfortunately, this work is not yet at the proper level,” he said, adding that it was necessary to eliminate corruption to become a developed country.

“But I want to say that this work does not satisfy me. The counter corruption activity must be tougher and have more significant results,” he noted.

However, a day after Aliyev’s warnings, a former lawmaker from the president’s ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party was arrested over a corruption scandal that gripped Azerbaijan last year, according to Agence France-Presse.

Gular Akhmedova is accused of offering to guarantee a seat in Parliament for academic Elshad Abdullayev in return for a $1 million bribe.

“Akhmedova promised Abdullayev to help him in securing a deputy’s seat and fraudulently laundered his one million dollars,” the office of Azerbaijan’s prosecutor general said in a statement. She was ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for two months.