date, there has not been a democratic revolution in Azerbaidjan,' according to American political scientist Paul Goebel. In a radio interview Monday with the Voice of America, Goebel said that 'the holding of elections does not indicate the presence of democracy. In addition, the majority of the people in Azerbaidjan are inheritors of the Soviet system and continue to display that mentality. Such people hope that the presence of even a modicum of stability is a good thing, but what they don't understand is that it's impossible to sustain such stability.'
He expressed the hope that the current president of Azerbaidjan will consider the long-term interests of the country. 'The question doesn't concern the next two or three years, but the condition of the country in 40 or 50 years. In order to achieve success, it is imperative that Azerbaidjan shift over to democracy. That shift has to be carried out by the people of Azerbaidjan themselves,' he said.
The most worrisome factor, in Goebel's opinion, is the fact that the government is not yet based on the rule of law, that civic institutions are absent, and that elections are neither free nor fair. 'One shouldn't consider the preservation of independence since 1991 as an accomplishment,' he said. 'Negative influences on the development of Azerbaidjan consist of a lack of fundamental governmental institutions, the presence of corruption and problems with democracy. Currently, the government of Azerbaidjan merely appears strong. In fact, the system is extremely weak and must be strengthened,' said Goebel. Blaming the lack of democratic reforms on the persistent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaidjan is not good enough. External threats are often used to justify the absence of a government based on the rule of law.'