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Azerbaijan's New Vice President(s) and its House of Clans

A February 21 meeting of Azerbaijan's Security Council at which Azerbaijan's first vice president, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva, was introduced. (photo: president.az)

President Ilham Aliyev’s February 21 announcement that from now on his wife Mehriban Aliyeva will be the country’s first vice-president elicited a good deal of mockery, including the inevitable comparisons to the plotline of the TV series House of Cards.

But beyond the jokes, the move appears to be the result of a deadly serious tussle for power and influence within the ruling regime. While intra-government cleavages have existed since Aliyev succeeded his father in 2003, these tensions have intensified in recent years amid an economic crisis and a substantial drop in Azerbaijan’s energy revenues.

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Azerbaijan's New Vice President(s) and its House of Clans

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