President Ilham Aliev has addressed the issue of corruption in Azerbaijan in a tough speech a few days before presidential elections. Corruption has been one of the issues raised by the opposition candidate Camil Hasanli during his television broadcasts as part of the election campaign. Although Aliev is not participating himself in the election debates he has made numerous speeches, usually whilst opening new government facilities.
One such event happened on 30 September when Aliev opened the new offices of the Anti corruption unit within the prosecutors’ office and this gave him the opportunity to address the issue of corruption head-on.
The following is an extract of his speech:
“The fight against corruption is a priority issue. There are good results, successes in this fight. It is necessary to praise the work of the Anti -Corruption Department. I am confident that even greater success will be achieved in this area in the coming years. This problem should be completely eradicated in Azerbaijan. It’s also true that there is corruption in every country, in every society. But the main question is the level and scope of coverage. We must constantly narrow the area of corruption. Here we are using and will use a variety of methods. In the first place, the penalties should be even stricter. Every citizen must know that acts of corruption will not go unpunished. Administrative measures also take a special place.
Preventive measure, enlightenment and system reform in this area also play a role. Among them, I want to emphasize the system of “electronic government “. I would like to note the activities of “ASAN xidmət”. More than 500,000 citizens have addressed it. This service operates for less than a year, and covers Baku , Sumgait and Absheron peninsula . But people are addressing. Why? Because there is no corruption. There, people are provided with services at a high level.
We need to make our entire system transparent. The process to ensure greater transparency of financial and economic sectors continues successfully. Azerbaijan is at the forefront in the world for its transparency index. In such a case, given the success and excellent prospects of our country, we must be at the forefront, leading the way in the world in the fight against corruption
I am delighted that the work done in recent years, work in this area gives the results. International organizations also appreciated the activities of Azerbaijan in this field. Every year the rating of corruption in Azerbaijan is improving. We are strengthening our ties with international organizations. According to my information now, there are close relations with the International Anti-Corruption Academy, other international organizations. We must fully apply the experience of the developed countries in this field.
Of course, Azerbaijan has its own history, its own features. We will apply the most positive experience that exists in the world in the future. I believe that the developed countries have achieved really great strides in the fight against corruption. We need to apply this experience in Azerbaijan. Once again several factors and consistency between them will play a role here.
There must be a strong political will and we have it.
There is a growing belief that we will completely eradicate this evil in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani society will recover from these plagues. Since corruption is a plague, a disease that undermines any society from within. Using all the possibilities, we must strive to ensure eradication of corruption in Azerbaijan, victory of social justice, since corruption is a factor that violates social justice. Strong political commitment, professionalism, honesty , truthfulness of the prosecutors, the atmosphere of serious fight against corruption – these factors, I am sure, will help us achieve our goals. Azerbaijan should be at the forefront in the fight against corruption. I’m sure it will be so. In the coming years, we should apply the experience of developed countries in Azerbaijan. Not to study, we have already studied it, but apply it in each area . Transparency, honesty, truth must become a way of life. I am sure that it will be so.”
CEW with news.az