Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev dismissed the country's long-serving tax minister, Fazil Mammadov, on December 5. The president's office did not give an explanation for the decision. Mammadov was replaced by Mikail Jabbarov.
Mammadov had served in his position for 19 years. Instances of veteran politicians being dismissed have become more frequent in the opaque oil-rich country, in which the president and his family are believed to, de facto, control all the state powers and much of the business environment.
In October 2015, Aliyev dismissed Eldar Mahmudov, the then-security ministry, together with 250 others and proceeded to do away with the security ministry altogether. Shortly after, he moved to dismiss Ali Abbasov, the communications minister. And, in February 2017, the former powerful transport minister, Ziya Mammadov (no relation to Fazil Mammadov), was fired. All of the above had served in their positions for over a decade and had well-known private interests in the sectors that they oversaw.
The former tax minister has been linked to a business conglomerate, Ata Holding, the ultimate beneficiaries of which are believed to be Aliyev and his family.
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