The first session of the 6th Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Majlis) has been held this week. The first session with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev has been remembered with the historical speech of the head of state. The speech is of historical importance in terms of the reforms carried out in our country, the events to be continued and the issues set before the Milli Majlis.
The President noted that the election results had reflected the will of the Azerbaijani people: "The elections have once again shown that our political course is highly appreciated by the people. I consider that the processes after the elections will develop in a positive direction."
The head of state announced that the new reforms course would be continued and that he expected the Parliament to support this course as well.
"I consider that the newly formed Milli Majlis will have an impact on the reforms. There are great obligations before MPs, first of all, in the field of legislation, because the main obligation of the Parliament is the legislation. My recommendation is that more attention should be paid to quality rather than quantity, because it is necessary to improve and review the existing laws," the President highlighted.
The speech has defined a number of additional priorities before the Milli Majlis.
Thus, which directions should the new Parliament work in?
What is the main thesis of the President's speech in this regard?
It is possible to distinguish especially 3 directions.
Firstly – legislative initiatives for the formation and strengthening of the political system;
Secondly – support for the reforms carried out in the social-economic field;
Thirdly – activity on an international scale.
Political dialogue as the beginning of political reforms
The Azerbaijani state is interested in ensuring human rights and freedoms, and the reforms carried out in the legal-political field are aimed at the solution of this priority. The formation of the 6th Milli Majlis as a multi-party assembly is related to that. At the next stage, this Parliament should make a significant contribution to the political reforms based on democratic principles.
The President emphasized that as a result of the elections with the participation of all political forces, the multi-party Parliament has been formed. He considers that this is a significant step in the development of democracy: "As you know, the New Azerbaijan Party has won the majority of the seats. Naturally, the word of the New Azerbaijan Party is quite valuable and influential in the Parliament. Today in the morning, the MPs representing the New Azerbaijan Party have gathered at my task and made important decisions. My recommendation was for members of all parties to be represented in the Milli Majlis leadership and committees.
Such a case has never happened before. Opposition members were not represented in the previous Milli Majlis' committees, Parliament leadership. However, I consider that there is a need for that in order to strengthen the political system in Azerbaijan and improve the political relations on a healthy basis. Surely, I consider that the New Azerbaijan Party takes the right step for the sake of the common interests."
The state evaluates the interparty dialogue as a significant element of the political reforms. The initiative to hold meetings with leaders of various parties at the Presidential Administration is the reflection of this approach.
Thus, as the head of state noted, the new political configuration of Azerbaijan is being formed, and there are expectations from the Milli Majlis in this new model: "I consider that necessary steps will be taken by the Milli Majlis to improve the political system, and the multi-party system in Azerbaijan will be built on a stronger basis."
New impetus to the social-economic field
2019 was remembered by important events in the social-economic field; reforms of revolutionary nature were carried out in this field. The necessity to expand the reforms to all the branches of the government originated from the need to support the new political course. The renewal of the Parliament originated from that necessity, and it has happened. The next thing is to renew the legislative basis and come up with initiatives relevant for the new challenges.
The President clearly stated the significance of reviewing the laws and said that the existing laws are not the dogma: "We should review our legislative basis. If necessary, we should match them with the existing targets, as life does not stand in one place; new challenges, new problems emerge. Some unexpected events happen so that the world gets confused. Therefore, these laws are not the dogma; surely, they should be reviewed. The main goal of the new laws to be adopted is to deepen reforms."
Innovations in this field are also desirable in order to deepen the reforms carried out in the social-economic field, enter a new quality level, increase the functionality of all tools. The President said: "Azerbaijan is a social state, and the steps we take prove it. The socially oriented package executed at my initiative last year alone envisages 4.2 million people. The regular increase of minimum salaries, minimum pensions, of course, requires big economic sources, and we create it. The processes taking place in our country in connection with transparency, the processes against the shadow economy strengthen our economic opportunities, expand the tax market, strike a very serious blow to the shadow economy. Therefore, all these issues, surely, should be in focus in the legislation."
The function of an MP is also to implement the social policy of the state. Investigating concerns of voters, raising problems before the relevant institutions, matching the legislative basis to the solution of these problems are not only the social order, but also the state's wish from the Parliament.
The President said in this regard in the Parliament: "Of course, my recommendation to MPs is to be active with their voters, to be in contact with them. It is no secret that previously, some MPs distanced themselves from their voters. They did not even visit their constituencies, did not get interested in their problems. They put their problems in the limelight. An end must be put to this.
Earlier, there were many such cases. Nepotism, obtaining some lands, supporting some business and so on and so forth. I do not want to go into details. Therefore, the newly formed Milli Majlis must be flawless from a mental point of view, because this is the significance of our reforms. If our citizens take a closer look, they will see that structural reforms, staff reforms, the staff brought to positions are clean. It means that nobody is behind their back, as you can say, there is no negative trace. Both the Milli Majlis, and its MPs should meet these criteria.
Therefore, you should always get interested in the problems of your constituencies, visit those constituencies. At the same time, you should bring to light the already existing problems. You should draw the attention of executive bodies to these problems. I consider that the newly formed Parliament will successfully operate in this field as well."
More active on an international scale
One of the main functions of the Milli Majlis is the representation on an international scale. Another expectation of the head of state from the Milli Majlis members is for them to support the consistent and purposeful policy pursued by the state aimed at exposing the Armenian lies in front of the international community. The President said: "I would like to say in connection with the international activity our MPs are represented at several international organizations. Definitely, earlier, the activity there was quite high. In the current times, it should be even higher, as we must deliver the Azerbaijani realities. We must especially deliver the historical truth in connection with Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The historical justice is on our side; the international law also supports our stance. For this reason, the Armenian side cannot present any serious arguments against ours, only lies, slander, historical falsification and mythology. Actually, it is their nature. They give bribes to some politicians. It is not a secret for anybody. In this case, their historical falsification is justified. Therefore, our MPs should deliver historical realities at all international organizations."
Thus, the political will expressed by the head of state, the revolutionary reforms he has launched should be supported and developed by all the branches of the government. In other words, like all branches of the government, the new Parliament also faces new challenges. The hope is high that the newly formed Parliament uniting youth and experience will properly respond to these challenges.