Azerbaijan's Parliament Approves Asadov As PM Hours After Predecessor's Surprise Resignation

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's parliament has approved former presidential aide Ali Asadov as the new prime minister just hours after Norvuz Mammadov tendered his resignation.

The 63-year-old Asadov, nominated for the post by President Ilham Aliyev, was voted in unanimously by the 105 deputies in attendance at the parliamentary session on October 8.

"I think that the cabinet of ministers will make significant reforms after this appointment," Siyavush Novruzov, a leader of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, said after the vote.

No official reason was given for the resignation of Mammadov, 72.

Aliyev has ruled the energy-rich South Caucasus country of nearly 10 million people since shortly before his father's death in 2003.

Despite its vast energy resources, the country has seen difficult economic conditions in recent years. Citizens have been hard-hit by rising inflation, unemployment, and the cost of staple goods.

Asadov was appointed by the president in 2012 as an assistant for economic affairs and deputy head of the presidential administration.