The ‘Mussavat’ (Nationalist) party, which dominated the National Council or Constituent Assembly of the Tatars, declared the independence of Azerbaijan on 28 May 1918, with a capital first at Ganja (Elizavetpol) and later at Baku. On 28 April 1920 Azerbaijan was proclaimed a Soviet Socialist Republic. From 1922, with Georgia and Armenia, it formed the Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic. In 1936 it assumed the status of one of the Union Republics of the USSR. In 1990 it adopted a declaration of republican sovereignty, and on 18 Aug. 1991 the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan passed a constitution act on independence and the Republic reestablished its full sovereignty; this was approved by 99–6% of votes at a referendum in Jan. 1992. Under the presidency of Heydar Aliyev, parliament ratified its adhesion to the CIS on 20 Sept. 1993. A treaty of friendship and co-operation was signed with Russia on 3 July 1997.
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