ETIBAR MAMEDOV - THE ETERNAL OPPOSITIONIST WITHOUT ANY CHANCE TO WIN

Axis News
Oct 3 2005

Asim Oku, AIA Turkish and Caucasian section

Etibar Mamedov was born on April, 2, 1955 in Baku. He graduated
from Faculty of History, Baku State University. He participated in
anti-Soviet activity being a member of unformal student's organizations
of nationalistic trend. After getting the diploma Mamedov started to
teach in the University, later he passes qualifying examination for
the candidate degree.

Political career

In 1988 Mamedov was actively participating in creating of Popular Front
of Azerbaijan (PFA) - first massive national-democratic movement of
the republic. In 1989 he was elected to the PFA board, the headed
by Abulfaz Elchibey. At the same time Mamedov becomes the defense
adviser in the leadership of PFA . In January, 1990 the army units,
the troops of the Ministry of Interior and KGB took over Baku . The
Kremlin aspired to suppress by force the activity of PFA which was
uncontrolled by it and struggled for preserving Upper Karabakh as
a part of Azerbaijan and for resignation of official leadership
of the republic that discredited itself. In this situation Mamedov
decided to come to Moscow. There he was arrested and put in jail for 10
months. After being released Mamedov comes back to Baku and was elected
into the Higher Council of Azerbaijan and then to the Parliament
from PFA. In 1991 after the disagreements with the leadership of
Popular Front he abandoned it and in 1992 created his own party -
Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP or Azerbaijan Milli
Istiglal Partiyasi). Mamedov's party was joined by the representatives
of intellectuals, businessmen, famous public activists. The peak of
popularity of this party was in 1992-93. At this period the number
of its members reached several tens of thousands.

Meanwhile in the spring of 1992 PFA comes to power in Azerbaijan. The
leader of the movement

Etibar Mamedov in 1996 Abulfaz Elchibey was elected the President
of the republic. But in the summer of 1993 Russia oriented
military-political forces revolted against the ruling regime. Despite
the fact that Mamedov came into big politics thanks to PFA, he not only
refused to help Elchibey, but also actively supported his opponent
Heydar Aliyev. But as soon as Heydar Aliyev came into power Mamedov
refused to be the member of the new cabinet and even refused to take
the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. However, the events of
1993 became one of the main reasons to accuse the leader of ANIP in
cooperation with Aliyev's regime.

The suspicions of such a cooperation were sounded more and more later,
in 1995 when Mamedov, as against many opposition leaders became the
Member of the Parliament. At the end of the 1990s ANIP splited. A
part of its activists created their own party, which soon joined the
ruling party Yeni Azerbaycan. Mamedov's influence on the political
scene of the country became very limited. In 1998 the leader of ANIP
proposed his candidacy at the presidential elections. By the official
data, he received only 12% of the vote. At the end of 2000, as a
result of elections (which were falsified by regime, as the leaders
of opposition say) the representatives of ANIP, including Mamedov,
didn't get into the Parliament. During the presidential elections in
October 2003 Mamedov tried his luck again and came forth - after Ilham
Aliev, Isa Gambar and Lala Shevket Hajiyeva. In December, 2004 Mamedov
unexpectedly announced his resigning from the post of the leader of
ANIP. But at the same time, on March, 26, 2005 he announced that
"by the decision of the last session of the National Independence
Party he is given the status of the leader of the party on March,
13, and he has the rights to gather ANIP any time he wishes to".

On April, 12, 2005, together with the group of other social and
political activists Mamedov announced the creation of oppositional
bloc New Politics (Yeni Siyaset - YeS). Presently he is one of the
leaders of this political movement .

Views and References.

Etibar Mamedov - the representative of Gyandjinsk clan from the west
part of the republic. The largest part of his electorate - refugees
from Armenia and Upper Karabakh, the citizens of the regions,
which suffered from Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The Conflict
with Armenia: The electorate base of Mamedov announces about the
sharp and even military position of ex-head of ANIP with regard to
Upper Karabakh. He thinks of useless to make agreements with Yerevan
and is on the side of only power decision of the conflict. Internal
Politics: Mamedov announces his sights as right conservative. For
the years of leadership he showed himself as out of compromised
and ambitious politician. Because of the sharp critics of the power
disregard of who is the president, Mamedov got the stamp of "forever
oppositionist". ANIP was created as the political platform for
Mamedov's activity in the beginning and is still known as "the party
of one leader". As for Azerbaijani an politicos, the formal refusal
from the post of the leader of ANIP was made by Mamedov to show more
liberal image in it within the parliament's elections of 2005. Being
one of the leaders of YeS, Mamedov disregarded the opportunity to
combine with Azadliq block. Mamedov is voting against the poverty of
the religious factor in the republic and calls for creation of "common
front" for "Islam revolution" prediction. Political Potential: At
the present time Mamedov's electorate quantity is not more then 15-20
thousands of people. Financial opportunities of ANIP in consideration
with 1990s are highly narrowed. The party's newspaper is published
only before the election's campaign starting. Economics: Mamedov is
the voter for radical economical reforms. He announces the support
to small and middle business (in that case providing the country
guaranties to the owners of private companies) and for creating optimal
conditions for foreign investors. Mamedov announces not to limit of
developing only oil sector and create multi-aimed economics. He is
positioning himself as the deep struggler with corruption, which,
by his words, "got the threatening for national interests of the
country character". Mamedov promises to held social reforms in case
of success in the elections. International Relations West: Mamedov
is the supporter of joining with West. For a long period of time
he made the main rate to the cooperation with EU, but for the last
time he is trying to strengthen his positions in USA. In July 2005
Mamedov took part in the commitment of International Democrat Union
in Washington where he met with national secretary Kondoliza Rice and
prime-minister of Australia Dhon Howard. Russia: In the relations with
north neighbor of Azerbaijan, Mamedov has contradiction position. From
the first side hi supports the economical cooperation with Russia
and appeals for "returning to Russia's market". From the other side,
he looks at Moscow as at the strategic partner of Yerevan and insists
on limiting of its dealing role in Karabakh's conflict.

Iran: Mamedov takes extremely sharp anti Iran position. He, in
that case, accused Tegeran of support of radical Islam movement in
Azerbaijan. In his speech in The Nixon Center, Washington, May 2001,
Mamedov announced that Iran is afraid of "Azerbaijan turning into
strong democratic country" as "They fear a strong and democratic
Azerbaijan would became a magnet for ethnic Azeris in Iran".

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