Succession Azerbaijani-StyleAzerbaijan’s President, Heidar Aliyev,

by Nathan Hamm on 8/17/2003

Succession Azerbaijani-StyleAzerbaijan’s President, Heidar
Aliyev, who is receiving treatment for heart and kidney problems in
Cleveland, recently appointed his son Prime Minister as the election
season gets under way. This move is widely seen as a move on Aliyev’s
part to assure that his son, Ilham, assumes the Presidency. Some doubt
that Ilham is up to the job and Eurasianet and Radio Free Europe see fault lines among Azerbaijan’s elites.

Russia, being familiar with this kind of political succession, has announced its support. Ilham is also seeking the support of Turkey and reassuring the US of continued good relations.

As the election campaign starts, thousands have taken to the streets in protest and the younger Aliev expresses cynicism about democracy. Washington Post has a good piece on the prospects of the opposition in Azerbaijan.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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