Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Asia > Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Politics

Political System of Azerbaijan

Between 1969 and 1982, the top leadership of the Azerbadjan Communist Party was in the hands of Gueidar Aliev, who enjoyed great confidence with the First Secretary of the Russian Communist Party, Leonid Brezhnev. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how AZ can stand for Azerbaijan.

In the late 1980s, socio-economic, political and ethnic problems led to a sharpening of dissatisfaction among Azerbaijanis. The new Soviet leader, Michael Gorbachov, in 1986 initiated an economic reform process - perestroika - and the so-called openness of state leadership - glasnost - which opened to manifestations of popular dissatisfaction throughout the Soviet Union.

In the Republic of Azerbadjan there came a wave of strikes, public meetings and demonstrations. New political movements emerged, including the Azerbaijan People's Front, based on demands for respect for civil rights, the establishment of free elections and economic and political independence. Nevertheless, the People's Front rejected the Armenian population group in Nagornij Karabakh's demand to be reunited with Armenia.

On September 25, 1989, Azerbadjan was proclaimed an independent state within the Soviet Union. The intensification of ethnic conflicts between Azerbaijanis and Armenians formed the basis for the formation of extremist groups, leading to massacres against Armenians in Sumgait, 1989, and Bak˙, 1990. Following the events in Bak˙, the Communist government decreed state of emergency and summoned Russian units army to restore peace and order. It led to the loss of hundreds of lives.

The problems in Nagorny Karabakh exacerbated the conflict with Armenia. Parliament in the autonomous region of Nagorny Karabakh, declared the region independent of Azerbaijan. In December 1989, the Parliament of Armenia adopted a reunion with Nagornij Karabakh, characterized by Azerbaijan as an interference with Azerbaijan's internal affairs. In September 1991, Nagornij Karabakh declared itself independent of both Azerbaijan and Armenia. In November 1991, the Azerbadjan Nagornij parliament canceled Karabakh's autonomous region status.

On August 30, 1991, the Bureau of the Soviet Parliament approved the Declaration of Independence for Azerbadjan. The state of emergency in Bak˙ was abolished and on September 8, the first presidential election was held. Azerbaijan's Communist Party also dissolved in 1991. The former leader of Azerbaijan's Communist Party, Ayaz Mutalibov, who had supported the failed coup d'Útat against Gorbachov, was the only candidate and was elected. The Azerbaijan People's Front characterized the election as "undemocratic because it was held under state of emergency" and withdrew its candidate from the election. The Autonomous Republic of Najichevan, where Gueidar Aliev continued his political career, abstained.

On December 22, 1991, Azerbadjan joined the new Federation of Independent States (CIS) and on February 2, 1992, Azerbadjan was admitted to the UN.

Sieged by Azerbaijan forces and subjected to fierce, uninterrupted bombings, the people of Nagorny Karabakh, December 10, 1991, participated in a referendum in which 99% of voters voted for the Declaration of Independence while the Azerbaijani minority abstained. The Alliance of Independent States began immediately after a withdrawal of its forces in Nagorny Karabakh, though it became the beginning of renewed fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian militias.

The Azerbaijan People's Front accused the government of not being able to solve the problem in Nagorni Karabakh, demanding the acceleration of the formation of a national army. For its part, Bak˙ accused the Federation of Independent State troops of allowing a "supply corridor" to be opened between Armenia and Nagorny Karabakh. Mutalibov resigned in March 1992 and the real leader of parliament, Yuri MamÚdov, took over the presidential post.

The fighting between Azerbaijanis and Armenians expanded in April to touch Najichevan as well. Turkey warned that it would not accept a 1921 border demarcation and Russia announced that a Turkish intervention in the Caucasus could be the start of a third world war.

 

Other Countries in Asia

Politics eZine Copyright 1999 - 2020 All Rights Reserved