Aliyev succeeded his father Heydar Aliyev who was president of Azerbaijan from 1993 to 2003. On August 4, 2003, two months before the presidential elections, he was made prime minister by his father who was very ill and dying. In October he easily won the presidential elections and became president on October 31, 2003. He also functions as the head of the New Azerbaijan Party.
He has been married to Mehriban Aliyeva since 1983. They have three children.