Elchibey loses power

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The Independent Online
Azerbaijan's parliament voted late last night to strip President Abulfaz Elchibey of his powers, a week after he fled the capital in the face of an army revolt, Reuter reports from Baku.

In a vote certain to spark a constitutional crisis, MPs decided to relieve Mr Elchibey of his duties. Ten Popular Front deputies loyal to the President, who is in hiding, walked out before the vote.

The vote appeared to leave Geidar Aliyev, the veteran leader who became parliamentary chairman during the crisis, with a strong claim to be acting head of state.