Azerbaijan celebrates National Salvation Day
Having restored the country’s independence with the break-up of the Soviet Union on October 18, 1991, Azerbaijan faced a frighteningly real prospect of losing its statehood. Chaos and the government crisis in all aspects of the public life reached its culmination in June 1993. Plus the situation in the army was critical, with the increasing number of cases of desertion from military units. The Armenian aggression had grown into a more aggressive attitude towards Azerbaijan by February 1992. Having come to power in 1992, the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) could not cope with the situation in the country.
Since separate groups and individuals were fighting for control, the country faced the crisis of power. In June 1993, an explosive situation, which could lead to the outbreak of civil war, evolved in Azerbaijan. In such troubled times, the people were in need of a strong-willed leader who could address the existing crisis and avert a potential crisis. And this person was the prominent political leader Heydar Aliyev. In June 1993, when the people of Azerbaijan believed that the national statehood was on the edge of fall, and when there began the hardest days, they insistently demanded change of the existing power, relying their destiny on Heydar Aliyev since then. Desperate and helpless, the people of Azerbaijan invited their national leader from Nakhchivan to Baku on June 15, 1993.
In the short time available, Heydar Aliyev ended social unrest in Azerbaijan that stood on the verge of a new epoch. On June 15, 1993, Heydar Aliyev in his speech at the Milli Majlis (Parliament) focused on how to develop Azerbaijan’s statehood strategy. He later crafted and implemented this plan. If independence was the first step to achieve, the second most important issue was to protect and develop it. Heydar Aliyev introduced the conception of the statehood. On July 24, 1993, Heydar Aliyev began to function as the President of Azerbaijan. On October 3, 1993, he was elected President through the nationwide voting.
The people met Heydar Aliyev's return with hope and joy, and this day entered the history of an independent Azerbaijan as the Day of National Salvation. The holiday acquired the official status in 1997, and it has become a national holiday since 1998.
Today President Ilham Aliyev successfully continues the political course of nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev.