Baku, , Azerbaijan
|| December 24, 1961
Aug 10, 2019 09:23pm
Married - Islam -
|Info||Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev (Azerbaijani: İlham Heydər oğlu Əliyev) (born December 24, 1961) is the current President of Azerbaijan. He also functions as the head of the New Azerbaijan Party. |
Aliyev was born in Baku as the son of Heydar Aliyev, who was made head of the Azerbaijani KGB when İlham was six and later became party leader for Azerbaijan and full member of Politburo, and Dr. Zarifa Aliyeva, a medical doctor. After completing school in Baku, İlham attended Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), receiving a PhD in history, before starting to teach at MGIMO. He is married to Mehriban Aliyeva and has three children: Leyla, Arzu and Heydar. He also has an older sister, Sevil Aliyeva.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, İlham worked as a businessman in Moscow and Istanbul from 1991 to 1994. Around that time, media reports spread of his lifestyle allegedly involving gambling and women, and heavy debts to a Turkish casino owner. His father, Heydar Aliyev was reportedly unhappy at his son's image as a playboy and the harm he felt this would do to his son's prospects of succeeding him. Heydar Aliyev ordered the closure of all casinos in Azerbaijan in 1998.
In May 1994, İlham Aliyev was appointed vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). There was controversy that Aliyev had bribed his way into the ranks of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan. The following year İlham was elected to parliament (Milli Majlis) and later became president of the National Olympic Committee (still incumbent) and head of the Azerbaijan delegation to the Council of Europe. In August 2003, two months prior to the presidential elections, he was appointed prime minister. In October, Heydar Aliyev, suffering failing health, stepped down as president and in a controversial move, appointed his son, an independent candidate, as his party's sole presidential candidate.
 2003 presidential elections
The official results of the October 15, 2003 elections gave victory to İlham Aliyev, who earned 76.84% of the votes. However, the domestic opposition refused to accept the results and staged mass protests. The protests were due to alleged corruption and staging of elections. Hundreds of demonstrators were beaten, and later arrested. Aliyev took office on October 31, despite opposition complaints.
The elections received harsh criticism from the international community, with many observers noting that they fell short of international standards and were accompanied by voter intimidation, unequal campaign opportunities for the candidates, and widespread violations of the electoral laws and process. The OSCE International Election Observation Mission noted a number of irregularities in the counting and tabulation (source: HTML format or PDF format). Human Rights Watch complained that Aliyev's election campaign had been supported by government resources and that the Central Election Commission and local election commissions had been stacked with its supporters, while local non-governmental organizations had been banned from monitoring the vote (source: HTML format) Numerous journalists, among them Eynulla Fatullayev, have been persecuted for their criticism of Ilham Aliyev and the Azerbaijani government.
Opposition members and human rights activists complain that during Aliyev's presidency the human rights situation has not improved. Opposition mass meetings remained banned and the government has continued to pressure the opposition and independent press. In March 2005 under continued pressure from the international community, especially the Council of Europe, Aliyev released from prison many prominent members of the opposition, arrested during protests against the way the October 2003 election was conducted.
On March 26, 2005 Aliyev was officially elected as the ruling New Azerbaijan Party chairman. The opposition denounced this as a violation of state laws, because according to the law on political parties, the president should have no party affiliation.
In April of 2006, President Aliyev made a state visit to Washington, DC - a remarkably successful trip, at least in terms of image. Speaking at a public forum sponsored by the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, Aliyev discussed oil, economic developement, and democracy with an audience of reporters and others. The visit was capped with a private meeting in the White House with President George W. Bush, who told reporters that their discussion was "really interesting," although he also said the meeting was "candid" - sometimes a code word for "tense." Opposition groups said that an official meeting with President Bush sent an inappropriate signal that the violence and intimidation of the 2005 parliamentary election was now a closed matter.
In the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Aliyev's photo is shown during the credits. In the film, he is supposedly the president of Kazakhstan who in reality is President Nursultan Nazarbayev. This was probably due to the fact that Ilham Aliyev looks more like Borat than Nursultan Nazarbayev.