Ilham Aliyev (ēl´häm älē´yĕf), 1961–, Azerbaijani political leader, president of Azerbaijan (2003–), b. Baku; son of President Heydar Aliyev. He earned a degree in history from Moscow State Univ. in 1985 and taught there until 1990. Aliyev then worked in private industry (1991–94) and was vice president of Azerbaijan's state oil company (1994–2003). He was elected to parliament in 1995 and 2000, and in 2003 was appointed prime minister by his father. Later that year he was elected to succeed his ailing father as president. A member of the New Azerbaijan party, he has been its chairman since 2005. Aliyev was reelected in 2008 in an election that was boycotted by opposition parties and marred by irregularities; his 2013 reelection also was marred by irregularities.
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