Print this page

YAP, YeS, PFPA. Swimming in an alphabet soup of political party names? Use this guide to get the basics about election blocs and political parties, big and small.

YAP Chairman Ilham Aliyev
Yeni Azerbaijan Party (YAP):
Yeni Azerbaijan (New Azerbaijan), founded in 1992, has been Azerbaijan's ruling party since party founder Heydar Aliyev, then YAP chairman, took power in June 1993. Although the pre-2002 constitution banned the president from being a member of any political party, Aliyev held the post of chairman until his death in 2003. That post is now held by his son, President Ilham Aliyev. President Aliyev's deputies include his wife, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva. All ministers in the government (except heads of law enforcement agencies), including the prime minister, are YAP members. YAP has been the official winner of all parliamentary elections since 1995. It claims to have more than 400,000 members. The party nominated 101 of its members for the 2005 elections, while more than 300 YAP members are running for seats independently.

Address: 13 Bul-Bul Avenue, Baku
Phone: 994-12-493-84-25
Fax: 994-12-498-59-71

Azadlig Bloc:
The Azadlig (Freedom) bloc was created in the summer of 2005 by Azerbaijan's three main opposition parties: the Popular Front Party (PFPA), Musavat Party and Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (DPA). The alliance's leaders are PFPA Chairman Ali Kerimli, Musavat Chairman Isa Gambar and DPA Chairman Rasul Guliyev. Azadlig is the opposition's main political actor, organizing frequent street demonstrations and suffering the brunt of police retaliation as a result. Bloc leaders take their inspiration from the recent color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and do not hide their intention to change the government. The bloc is supporting 116 candidates, including some candidates who are not members of Azadlig parties and some independents. Of the bloc members, only the PFPA has four MPs in the incumbent parliament.

Address: 13 Acad. A.Alizade Str. Baku
Phone: 994-12-496-69-10

PFPA Chairman Ali Karimli Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA):
The opposition PFPA is descended from the Popular Front movement, established in 1989 as part of then Soviet Azerbaijan's democratic national liberation movement. In 1994, three years after the creation of an independent Azerbaijan, the movement became a party and former President Abulfaz Elchibey (1992-1993) was elected as chairman. The death of Elchibey in 2000 split the party and led to the establishment of a conservative and progressive wing of the PFPA. Ali Kerimli, a 39-year-old lawyer and head of the progressive wing, is party chairman with several deputies; Fuad Mustafayev is responsible for policy issues.

Address: 33 Khagani Str. AZ1000 Baku
Phone: 994-12-498-90-84

Musavat Chairman Isa Gambar Musavat Party:
Musavat was created in 1992 by then Parliamentary Speaker Isa Gambar, who transferred to the party from the Popular Front. The party was announced as the successor to the Musavat Party of the early 1900s -- a political force that led Azerbaijan during the country's brief period of independence from 1918-20. Musavat is one of the leading opposition parties and is known for its member base of intellectuals. The party claimed victory in the 2000 parliamentary and 2003 presidential elections, but was severely weakened after the opposition crackdown that followed President Ilham Aliyev's October 2003 election.

Address: 3097 Darnagul Settlement, AZ1025 Baku
Fax: 994-12-448-23-81

DPA Chairman Rasul Guliyev Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (DPA):
The Democratic Party, considered a "radical" opposition group, was created in 1993 by Sardar Jalaloglu, now the deputy chairman. The party united in 1997 with the Democratic Reforms Party, led by Ilyas Ismaylov. Rasul Guliyev, the exiled former speaker of parliament was elected as co-chairman with Ismaylov in early 2000. Guliyev has held sole leadership of the party since November 2000 when Ismaylov quit the DPA and established the Adalat Party, taking with him some DPA activists. The party is quite strong, with a network of regional branches, and a number of natives of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a YAP stronghold, in the leadership. Financing by Rasul Guliyev supports the party's activities. Sardar Jalaloglu has fulfilled the role of chairman during Guliyev's exile from Azerbaijan.

Address: 13 Acad. A.Alizade Str. Baku
Phone: 994-12-46-969-10

YeS Leader Eldar Namazov YeS (Yeni Siyaset - New Policy) Alliance
The YeS election alliance was created in April 2005 by Eldar Namazov, president of the public forum For Azerbaijan and a former aide to President Heydar Aliyev; Etibar Mamedov, leader and former chairman of the National Independence Party; Lala Shovket, leader of the Liberal Party; Ali Masimov, prime minister under the late President Abulfaz Elchibey and Eldaniz Guliyev, chairman of the Intelligentsia Movement. The National Independence Party and the Social Democrats, along with a group of NGOs and former state officials representing the Soviet nomenclatura later also joined the alliance. Lala Shovket eventually left YeS, taking with her about 15 NGOs, and now cooperates with the Azadlig bloc.

The YeS alliance expected to be a "third force," attractive to those voters disappointed with the traditional opposition and the government. Alliance leader Eldar Namazov, however, has described the bloc's founding document as pro-opposition. All decisions within the alliance are made collectively.

Address: 111 Alizade Street, AZ1176 Baku
Phone/Fax: 994-12-465-95-84

LPA Chairperson Lala Shovket Liberal Party of Azerbaijan (LPA)
The party was established in Barda (a central region close to the Nagorno Karabakh frontline) in 1994 when Lala Shovket resigned from the position of state secretary after criticizing President Heydar Aliyev's administration as corrupt and intolerant of diverse views. The party is considered to be a radical opposition group, although Lala Shovket advocates national unity based on reconciliation between all political parties. The Liberals advocate a military solution to the Karabakh problem and sometimes lean to the extreme left on social issues. The Liberal Party's popularity is based on the personality of Lala Shovket, who is famous for her positive campaigning style. Very few candidates out of the party's 68 nominees have a chance to win, however. The party is strongest in the regions of Guba, Barda and Ganja. Avaz Temirkhan, the executive secretary of LPA, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the party.

Address: 83 Zardabi Street, Baku
Phone/Fax: 994 12 441-23-36

AZERBAIJAN: ELECTIONS 2005 is a production of with funding provided by the Open Society Institute.
Copyright © 2005