Country Listing

Azerbaijan Table of Contents


Government and Politics

Government: One autonomous republic, Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic; one autonomous region, Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (under dispute with Armenia). Fifty-six districts and ten cities under direct central control. Executive branch includes president, elected by direct popular vote and Council of Ministers, appointed by president with legislative approval; 350-member legislature, Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet, dissolved in May 1992, superseded by fifty-member Melli-Majlis (National Council). Regimes of early 1990s unstable. Adoption of new constitution delayed by political turmoil. Judicial branch remains substantially unchanged from Soviet system, which offered limited rights to those accused.

Politics: Azerbaijani Communist Party, previously only legal party, dissolved formally September 1991 but remained influential and was reconstituted December 1993. Major parties New Azerbaijan Party, led by President Heydar Aliyev; Azerbaijani Popular Front, major opposition party 1990-92; and National Independence Party, major opposition party 1992-94. Several smaller parties influential in coalition politics of MelliMajlis .

Foreign Relations: Major goal countering worldwide Armenian information campaign on Nagorno-Karabakh. Policy toward Turkey and Russia varies with perception of support and mediation of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; Aliyev government closer to Russia. Blockade of Armenia brought United States restriction of relations and aid in 1992. Recognized by 120 countries by 1993.

International Agreements and Membership: Member of Commonwealth of Independent States, United Nations, Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and International Monetary Fund.

Data as of March 1994