Niyazi Bayramov
Niyazi Bayramov

Ganja gets a new mayor

On 28 August, President Ilham Aliyev signed orders dismissing Elmar Valiyev as mayor of Ganja and appointing Niyazi Bayramov in his place.

On 3 July, the mayor of Ganja, Elmar Valiyev, and his bodyguard were shot in the city center. Yunis Safarov was arrested at the scene and remains in police custody, accused of attempting to assassinate Valiyev, allegedly as part of a wider plot to overthrow the Azerbaijani government and institute shariah law. Many observers have questioned the official version of events.

On 10 July, two police officers were killed in Ganja during a demonstration. To date, over 60 people have been arrested in connection with the July incidents and five more have been killed resisting arrest.

Valiyev survived the attack, in which he received a gunshot wound to the stomach and a serious head injury from the fall. He is undergoing medical treatment.

At the time of his appointment as the mayor of Ganja, Valiyev’s replacement, Niyazi Bayramov, was the mayor of the city of Mingachevir. He was born on 26 March 1956 and graduated from Baku State University in 1980 with a law degree. Since 1992, he has held a number of political appointments, including as the head of the Customs Department in Ganja. He is a member of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP).