Friday, August 29, 2014


Caucasus Report

Azerbaijani Opposition Leader Accused Of Poisoning Former President

Former Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey died 12 years ago.
Former Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey died 12 years ago.
The leader of Azerbaijan's small Muasir (Modern) Musavat party, Khafiz Gadjiyev, has accused Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (AHCP) Chairman Ali Kerimli of administering poison to former Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey prior to the latter's death from prostate cancer 12 years ago. The Azerbajani Prosecutor General's office has opened an investigation into the "attempted murder," according to the opposition newspaper "Yeni Musavat."

Kerimli has dismissed that accusation as "a disgusting lie." Other opposition politicians have suggested it was intended to compromise Kerimli, or even make it impossible for him to participate in the presidential election due in October 2013. Members of Elchibey's family have called for an end to "speculation" about the circumstances of his death. 
 
Elchibey was an oriental scholar and Soviet-era dissident who spent 18 months in a labor camp in the mid-1970s, and rose to prominence 15 years later as chairman of the Azerbaijan Popular Front. He was elected president in June 1992 on a wave of nationalist euphoria, but ousted in a coup one year later and fled from Baku to his home village of Keleki in Nakhichevan. 
 
Elchibey's successor as president, Heidar Aliyev, extended permission in October 1997 for him to return to Baku, where he resumed his political activities.   
 
A militant advocate of close, even federal ties between Azerbaijan and Turkey, Elchibey met with leading Turkish politicians during a private visit to Ankara in March 2000, during which he also underwent medical treatment for what were described as the after-effects of a bout of viral influenza. He was hospitalized in Turkey in early July, reportedly with kidney problems, and died in Ankara on August 22 at the age of 62. His party colleagues admitted he was suffering from cancer only weeks before his death.
 
Gadjiyev says that Elchibey told him he had been poisoned by "Komsomol," which was Kerimli's nickname, but he did not disclose when that conversation took place. He said Kerimli and Elchibey's aide Ali Mursal oglu drove Elchibey to a dacha where the poison was administered, but again, Gadjiyev did not specify when. Gadjiyev named six people who he claimed were aware of what had happened, including Elchibey's driver Khalil, "Mr. Gudrat," and "Mr. Fazil." The latter two may be United Popular Front Party Chairman Gudrat Gasanquliyev and Great Creation Party leader Fazil Gazanfaroglu. 
 
Both those parties, like Gadjiyev's Modern Musavat which he founded in early 2001, are nominally part of the opposition, but widely regarded as sponsored by the authorities to create the impression of political pluralism. Both Gazanfaroglu and Gasanquliyev are members of the parliament elected in November 2010 in which neither Kerimi's AHCP nor the Musavat party headed by Isa Qambar won a single seat .  
 
Gadjiyev was one of the six candidates who ran against incumbent Ilham Aliyev (Heidar's son) in the 2008 presidential election, finishing last with 0.65 percent of the vote. Gasanquliyev, also a candidate, placed fourth with 2.28 percent. 
 
Gadjiyev has not explained why he remained silent for 12 years before incriminating Kerimli in Elchibey's death.
 
In the summer of 2000, Kerimli was first deputy chairman of the AHCP, which was already on the verge of splitting into a conservative ("romantic populist")  faction led by Elchibey and including Gazanfaroglu, and a more liberal ("rational pragmatist")  faction headed by Kerimli. Assim Molla-zade, who like Kerimli began his political career as an AHCP member but subsequently left that party to create his own Democratic Reforms Party in 2005, told the weekly "Zerkalo" in mid-January 2001 that it was thanks to Kerimli's efforts that the AHCP evolved after Elchibey's ouster into one of the country's most effective opposition forces. 
 
Kerimli and Musavat chairman Qambar are currently regarded as the only serious challengers to incumbent Ilham Aliyev in next year's presidential ballot. 
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Comments
     
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
August 20, 2012 14:36
Aaaaah.dear azeri kurdish kgb brothers,sisters and lgbts,why all this trouble for proving who poisoned who and why???You should spend your efforts and manats more wisely and the best thing to do is to do away with all pseudo demockratic things like elections and proclaim Allahtan Ilhan for life time prezident of Ilhamistan-Sultan Ali Baba Iham the magnificent would we the best title for the `man`.The azeri parliament shold also give him the titles of grand vizier and chief eunuch,thus saving even more money to be spent on pork,liquor and child brides.Then the great Sultan may do what all great Sultans do-kill all his children brothers,sisters and relatives in the best traditions of turkic democracy.After that we must think about future great Turanistan,but until then lets go to the turkish bath for a quick bunga bunga hanky panky!!!
In Response

by: Sinav from: South Azerbaijan
August 20, 2012 22:35
Just spend time here until we find a new course of action for u.
In Response

by: Camel Anasinav from: Northern Persia
August 21, 2012 11:26
Thank you thank you thank you dearest azeri -kurdish kgb Sinav djan from the breakaway from Persia Southern azeristan!!!You show the great humanism of your Ali Baba Ilham paymaster.Dont think about me,think what you`ll do when the arab spring comes to your petrol station-will you be able to run away from your fate when you`ll have to pay for your deeds.?Sinav djan-there is still time to repent-fall down on your knees and ask Allah forgiveness-he is great and will forgive you-that`s what you`ll have to do instead of `finding a new course for me`.Finally thanx to all RFE/RL editors for printing the humanist posts of Sinav-type creatures-they sure conform to all RFE/RL forum rules!!!

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.