Abulfaz Elchibey 
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Abulfaz ElchibeyAbulfaz Elchibey

Abulfaz Elchibey (b. June 7, 1938, Nakhchivan - d. August 22, 2000, Ankara) was an Azerbaijan political figure. His real name was Abulfaz Qadirqulu oglu Aliyev, but he changed his name when he started anticommunist political activity. 

He was the first non-Communist President of Azerbaijan from 1992 until he was overthrown in 1993. His election came at a time when Azerbaijan was fighting a war with Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

During his presidency, Azerbaijan suffered many losses in the war, losing all of Nagorno-Karabakh and much other territory. Military forces with the support of parliamentary speaker Heydar Aliyev (no relation) overthrew Elcibay. Aliyev declared a ceasefire in the war, and Elcibay was forced to leave politics and return to his native village in the Nakhichevan region of the country. 

In 1997 he returned to the country's capital, Baku and started to speak out against Aliyev. He was charged and went to trial in 1999 for accusing Aliyev of supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party but charges were dropped. Elcibay later went to Ankara, Turkey where he died.

Elections in June 1992 resulted in him as the countryís second president. The PFP-dominated government, however, proved incapable of either credibly prosecuting the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or managing the economy, and many PFP officials came to be perceived as corrupt and incompetent. 

Growing discontent culminated in June 1993 in an armed insurrection in Ganja, Azerbaijanís second-largest city. As rebelious troops were advancing onto Baku, President Elçibay fled the capital to his native village of Keleki in Nakhchivan. Prior to his departure, Elçibay invited former Soviet Polibureau member and then head of Nakhchivan Heydar Aliyev to Baku on June 9, 1992. Heydar Aliyev quickly took control of the situation, becoming the Chairman of the Azerbaijani parliament on June 15, 1993. Nine days later, in the vacuum of power left by Elchibey's departure to Nakhchivan, Aliyev as a speaker of the parliament constitutionally assumed presidential powers. He signed the Bishkek protocol to cease the hostilities on the frontline, and further solidified his power by organizing impeachment hearings and holding a national referendum on August 29, 1993, which formally stripped Elchibey off presidency. In another national election, in October 3, 1993, Heydar Aliyev, 70, was elected as a president of Azerbaijan with 99% of the votes.

During Aliyev's presidency, Elçibay returned to Baku in 1997 and joined the opposition as the leader of Azerbaijani Popular Front Party. He was also charged and went to trial in 1999 for accusing Aliyev of supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) but the charges were later dropped.

In 2000, Elçibay was diagnosed with a prostate cancer and died in August of the same year in a military hospital in Ankara, Turkey. His body was flown to Baku and given the state funeral with special attendance by then-President Heydar Aliyev.

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