Ilham Aliyev

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Baku, Azerbaijan SSR
Birth Sign
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR

Azerbaijan’s current President, Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, has been in office since 2003. He is Azerbaijan’s fourth president, succeeding his father, Heydar Aliyev, who served from 1993 to 2003. He is the Chairman of the ‘New Azerbaijan Party’ and the President of the ‘National Olympic Committee.’ The ‘Heydar Aliyev Order’ and the ‘Order of Sheikhulislam’ are two national honors he has received. He has received numerous awards, honors, and orders from other countries. Among them are the ‘International Military Sports Council’s ‘Grand Cordon Order of Merit,’ the Russian Orthodox Church’s ‘Prepodobniy Sergiy Rodonejskiy first degree Order,’ and France’s ‘Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.’ Several foreign universities have bestowed honorary degrees on Ilham Aliyev. ‘Honorary Doctor of Lincoln University’ in the United States, ‘Honorary Professor of Moscow State University’ in Russia, and ‘Honorary Doctor of Kyung Hee University’ in South Korea are examples of such honors. He remains one of the most divisive figures in Azerbaijan, having been chastised for his autocratic rule. While political analysts have dubbed him Europe’s most corrupt leader, ‘Transparency International’ has listed his government as one of Europe’s most corrupt.

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Childhood and Adolescence

He was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, on December 24, 1961, to Heydar Aliyev and Zarifa Aliyeva. His father was a prominent Azerbaijani politician who served as the country’s third President from October 1993 to October 2003. His mother was a professor, academician, and ophthalmologist.

From 1967 to 1977, he attended Baku’s ‘No 6’ secondary school, after which he enrolled in the ‘Moscow State University of International Relations’ (‘MSUIR’) to complete his education.

In 1982, he began postgraduate studies at ‘MSUIR,’ and in 1985, he received his PhD in historical sciences after submitting his research papers.

From 1985 to 1990, he worked as a teacher at the ‘Moscow State University of International Relations.’ He speaks English, French, Turkish, and Russian in addition to Azerbaijani.

He remained a businessman in Moscow and Istanbul from 1991 to 1994, working with and leading a group of private production-commercial ventures.

As rumours of Ilham Aliyev’s lavish lifestyle involving women, gambling, and heavy debts reached his father, he issued an order to close all casinos in Azerbaijan.

Career of Aliyev

In mid-94, he was appointed vice-president of the ‘State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic’ (‘SOCAR’). He was a key figure in the settlement of the ‘Contract of the Century,’ a new contract negotiated between Western oil companies and the Azerbaijani government.

He was elected a member of the ‘Milli Majlis’ in 1995. (the Parliament of Azerbaijan Republic). He has been the president of the ‘National Olympic Committee’ since 1997.

His contributions to the Olympic movement and the development of sports earned him the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor. The ‘International Military Sport Council’ has also awarded him the ‘Grand Cordon Order of Merit.’

In 2000, he was elected to the ‘Milli Majlis’ for the second time. From 2001 to 2003, he led the Azerbaijan delegation to the ‘Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’ (‘PACE’).

In January 2003, he was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the ‘European Council Parliamentary Assembly’ and a member of the ‘PACE’ bureau.

Ilham Aliyev was appointed Prime Minister of Azerbaijan on August 4, 2003. On October 15, 2003, he was elected President of Azerbaijan and took office on October 31, but he had to resign due to ill health.

On March 26, 2005, he was elected chairman of the ‘New Azerbaijan Party,’ but the opposition denounced him, citing a violation of the law prohibiting a president’s affiliation with a political party.

In 2008, he was elected President of Azerbaijan for the second time, receiving 88 percent of the vote; however, opposition parties boycotted the polls, which were held on October 15, that year. On October 24, he was sworn in as President.

In 2009, he successfully passed a constitutional referendum that abolished the President’s term limit and restricted press freedom. Despite the opposition’s claims that this was a violation of Azerbaijan’s constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, the referendum allowed him to run for president multiple times.

In the 2010 parliamentary election, Ilham Aliyev loyalists won a full house parliament, with no opposition parties such as Musavat and the Azerbaijan Popular Front even making an appearance.

Several protests and agitations against his rule and for the removal of his government and the establishment of democracy took place in 2011. Approximately 400 people were detained.

In 2012, Ilham Aliyev persuaded the Hungarian government to transfer murder convict Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan, where he will serve the rest of his sentence. Ramil Safarov, on the other hand, was promoted to major and given a payment of over 8 years, including the time he had already spent in prison, as well as an apartment when he was sent to Azerbaijan.

He was elected President for the third time on October 9, 2013, after receiving 85 percent of the vote in the next presidential election. However, a smart phone application from the ‘Central Election Commission’ showed him winning 72.

76 percent of the vote one day before polling began, implying election results were rigged. The US and ‘Amnesty International’ chastised him for inconsistencies in elections and the suppression of journalists.

He has referred to Armenians as Azerbaijan’s enemies and has threatened to use military force to retake Nagorno-Karabakh and all of Armenia.

The ‘Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project’ named him ‘Person of the Year’ in 2012.

Personal History and Legacy

He married Mehriban Aliyeva on December 22, 1983. Currently, Mehriban is the director of the ‘Heydar Aliyev Foundation.’ Leyla, Arzu, and Heydar are the couple’s three children.

Leyla and Arzu, according to reports from the ‘Mail Online’ and ‘The Washington Post,’ own properties worth £50 million in London, Dubai, and Paris. Heydar, who is eleven years old, is the proud owner of nine mansions in Dubai, totaling $44 million in value.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Ilham Aliyev is about £50million.