Azeri President Geydar Aliyev gives up the election
To all appearance, incumbent President of Azerbaijan, Geyday Aliyev, has serious problems with his health. The 80-year-old president is even ready to give up his participation in the presidential election, which is to take place in October of the current year. It goes without saying that the question of Aliyev's post has been solved before. There is nothing surprising that the choice has been made for Geydar Aliyev's son, Ilkham Aliyev.
Interfax reported with reference to a "high-ranking source at the presidential administration of Azerbaijan," Geydar Aliyev was going to release an official statement about his refusal to participate in the presidential election. As it was said, Ilkham Aliyev's candidacy would be nominated within a couple of weeks after that. An anonymous source told Interfax that "all influential people in the president's team had promised to support Ilkham Aliyev at the election in October."
However, "influential people's" affirmations do not mean that they are going to support the president's son indeed. Furthermore, the extent of their influence is not known either. Lots of changes might occur before the election, and Geydar Aliyev might change his mind.
This way or other, if the president is going to nominate his son, the campaign is supposed to start in advance, not a month before the election. To all appearance, certain measures have already been taken in this respect. Incidental or not, but the issue of the Caspian Sea shelf division has been brought back in the picture recently. Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have settled the problem down. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Viktor Kolyuzhny, stated that the agreement between the three countries would assist in the attraction of foreign investments in the development of Caspian deposits. Needless to mention that foreign investments are very good for Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
One may not say that the agreement between the three countries was Ilkham Aliyev's achievement. However, he is the First Vice President of Azerbaijan's State Oil Company, which is definitely interested in attracting investors. The issue of attracting big money in the economy of Azerbaijan will play a very good role for any candidacy. However, Azeri authorities will probably have no need to concoct complicated PR-measures. As a matter of fact, it is a common thing for Eastern countries, when a son becomes the next person to rule a country after his father retires. At the end of the day, Ilkham Aliyev's candidacy does not irritate neighboring countries (Russia, Turkey, Iran). This means that foreign countries will not put any obstacles for the president's son.
On the other hand, is Ilkham Aliyev good for the present Azeri establishment? Will the Azerbaijan elite make up with the idea that the power remains with the Aliyevs? It is not ruled out that the support of "influential people" has certain conditions in the background. The basic one of them, as it seems, will make Ilkham Aliyev share the privileges of his father with someone else. If it really happens, it will not be hard to say, who is going to be the next president of the Azerbaijan republic.
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