|Azerbaijan Table of Contents
The intractable conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh contributed to the fall of several governments in newly independent Azerbaijan. After a February 1992 armed attack by Armenians on Azerbaijani residents in Nagorno-Karabakh caused many civilian casualties, Mutalibov was forced by opposition parties to resign as president. The president of Azerbaijan's Supreme Soviet, Yakub Mamedov, became acting president. Mamedov held this position until May 1992, when he in turn was forced from power in the face of continuing military defeats in Nagorno-Karabakh. Mutalibov loyalists in the Supreme Soviet reinstated him as president, but two days later he was forced to flee the country when APF-led crowds stormed the government buildings in Baku. An interim APF government assumed power until previously scheduled presidential elections could be held one month later. APF leader and intellectual Abulfaz Elchibey, who won over 59 percent of the vote in a five-candidate electoral contest, then formed Azerbaijan's first postcommunist government. Elchibey served as president only one year, however, before being forced to flee Baku in mid-June 1993 in the face of an insurrection led by a disgruntled military officer. Taking advantage of the chaos, Aliyev returned to power, and an election in October 1993 confirmed him as president.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress