President Haidar Aliev returned to work after seven weeks’ absence, most of it in convalescence from heart surgery. Aliev, who led the country in Soviet times, has four-and-a-half years remaining on his term. His physical weakness has touched off a succession struggle among three contenders for power. Their rivalries, more personal than ideological, are likely to prevent any one of them from emerging as the clear successor without Aliev’s blessing. So long as Aliev is strong enough to carry out the basic duties of his office, he should have little difficulty holding on to power. Though he looks frail and has restricted his public appearances, his return has moved the succession issue from the near to the medium term.