File - In this Sunday, June 19, 2016 file photo, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva watch the last minutes of the Formula One Grand Prix of Europe at the Baku Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev Tuesday appointed his glamorous wife as first vice president, the latest move seen as tightening the family's iron grip on the oil-rich Caspian nation."She is professional, educated, experienced, principled and magnanimous," Aliyev told a National Security Council meeting.Known for her lavish lifestyle, Aliyeva, 52, has been an MP for the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party since 2005 and head of the influential Heydar Aliyev Foundation – named after her father-in-law and former president. Azerbaijan's embattled opposition angrily criticized Aliyeva's elevation as undemocratic.The Aliyevs have two socialite daughters Leyla, 32, and Arzu, 27, a student son, Heydar, 19, and four grandchildren. The president, 55, cruised to a third five-year term against limited opposition in 2013, extending his family's rule into a third decade.
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