Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev instated his wife of thirty-four years, Mehriban Aliyeva, as the first Vice President of Azerbaijan on February 21, 2017. A decree was published on the official presidential website informing that the First Lady had been appointed to the post, which was created using a constitutional amendment in September 2016.
In an official statement, the President said that Mehriban has played an “important and active part” in Azerbaijan’s affairs and he also touched on her contributions as an MP.
Leaked US embassy cables in 2010 pointed out the First Lady’s political ineptitude, however, Mehriban, 52, has years of experience in the nation’s politics. She has been the deputy chair of President Aliyev’s Yeni Azerbaijan Party since 2013 and a parliament member since 2005. As a matter of fact, she received more than 90% votes from her constituency in the three parliamentary elections she has competed in.
Outside of politics, Mehriban is also praised for her long-term contributions to culture and art through the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, of which she is the president. She also tended to the organization of the Eurovision song contest in 2012 and the first European games.
According to the statement made by the President, Mehriban will oversee the organization of the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017.