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Nepotism strangles democracy in Central Asia

Naming his wife VP, Azerbaijan's president turns government into family business

ISTANBUL Nepotism is nothing new in former Soviet states, particularly those rich in natural resources. But the tendency to run the country like a family business is becoming more pronounced, at the cost of fostering healthy and functioning democracies.

The latest example is from Azerbaijan, where President Ilham Aliyev recently appointed his wife to the post of vice president. The position, created by constitutional changes introduced last year, entails the responsibility of taking over the duties of president should he become unable to fulfill them for whatever reason.

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