Azeri president appoints wife as first-vice president

Azeri president appoints wife as first-vice president

Azeri president appoints wife as first-vice president

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Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev has appointed his wife, Mihriban Aliyeva, to the first vice-president post, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 21.

The Azerbaijani Presidency said in a statement that Aliyeva was appointed to the first-vice presidential post according to the 103rd Article of the Azerbaijani constitution.

On Sept. 26, 2016, Azerbaijan held a referendum on 29 constitutional amendments, with the public approving the measures with an 86.6 percent vote.

One of the amendments had sought the creation of two vice-presidential posts whose occupants would be appointed and dismissed by the president.

The amendment enables the first vice-president to hold the presidential powers in the absence of the president if he/she becomes incapable of discharging his duties.

The amendments also extended the presidential term from five to seven years, granted the president the right to dissolve parliament and canceled the stipulation that citizens must be 35 years of age to run for president.

Aliyev, 54, has led the ex-Soviet country since his father, Heydar Aliyev, died after a decade in power in 2003.

In 2013, he won a landslide election victory. The next elections are slated for 2018.