Baku, 3 October 2003 (RFe/RL) -- Ilham Aliyev (pictured), the son of Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev, predicted today that he will win the presidency in his own right in presidential elections on 15 October. The younger Aliev, Azerbaijan's current prime minister, said today during a campaign stop in western Azerbaijan that he regrets his father's decision to withdraw from the election.
Heidar Aliyev yesterday announced that he will not seek another term because of his poor health. Aliev, 80, has been hospitalized since 8 July, first in Turkey and now at the Cleveland Clinic in the U.S.
In a statement, Aliyev described his son as his "political successor."