Government and Politics
Government: One autonomous republic,
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dissolved in May 1992, superseded by fifty-member Melli-Majlis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,
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
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
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