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"When they ask me "who is the President of Uzbekibekibekistanstan?"
I am going to say, "you know, I don't know, do you know?"
Knowing who is the head of some of some of these small,
insignificant states around the world - I don't think that is
something that is critical to focusing on national security."
Herman Cain, 09 October 2011

Shavkat Miramanovich Mirziyaev

Polls closed 04 December 2016 in Uzbekistan, where voters chose who will be the country’s next president after Islam Karimov, the autocrat who ruled the Central Asian nation for a quarter-century until his death three months earlier. Preliminary results announced by the Central Election Commission show that Mirziyoyev took about 88 percent of the vote.

Many observers believed the most likely successor to Karimov was Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev. He was appointed head of the commission that organized Karimov's funeral, a duty that in the region's Soviet culture normally falls to the successor. Mirziyaev was made acting president six days after Karimov’s death was announced -- circumventing a constitutional process under which the upper parliament house speaker is supposed to take charge. Acting President Shavkat Mirziyaev, who had been the country’s prime minister since 2003, was widely expected to win a five-year term in the December election. The Central Election Commission announced that almost 87 percent of the 20 million-plus electorate took part in the poll.

Mirziyaev, born in 1951, had headed the government since 2003. Other contenders included First Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Rustam Azimov, has been in the national government since 1998, always in a post connected to finance. Rustam Inoyatov, the head of the National Security Committee [SNB - the Uzbek version of the KGB] since the 1990s, was also considered to be a possible successor to Karimov. Many suspect Inoyatov was behind the campaign to bring down Karimov’s daughter Gulnara.

Shavkat Miramanovich Mirziyaev [also seen as Russified "Shavkat Miramanovich Mirziyoye"] was the Prime Minister of the Republic of UzbekistanSince 2003. He graduated from the Tashkent Institute of irrigation and mechanization of agriculture. He then served as Secretary of the Komsomol organization of the Institute, then worked as a secretary and the rector of the party organization of Tashkent's Mirzo-Ulugbek (former Kuibyshev) up to the district administration (1996). He served as governor (Hakim) of Jizzakh Province from 1996 to September 2001, then as governor of Samarqand Province (September 11, 2001 to December 11, 2003) until his appointment as Prime Minister. He represented District 67 of Jizzakh region (1999-2004), and was deputy of the Oliy Majlis. On 11 December 2003 he was appointed the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan. He replaced fired Prime Minister, O‘tkir Sultonov.

A 26 November 2004 article on the independent news website alleged that Mirziyaev was placed under house arrest for three weeks after arranging an elaborate wedding for his daughter at which each guest was obliged to hand over at least 10,000 dollars as a gift. The article also stated that an unnamed official of a recent Russian delegation described Mirziyaev as having the instincts of "a head of state," reportedly upsetting President Karimov.

Independent website Uzmetronom reported late on 21 February 2008 that Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev had been removed as Prime Minister and would assume duties as Hokim (governor) of Ferghana Province. First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov will assume duties as acting Prime Minister. Mirziyaev has been rumored for the past half year to be on his way out, though in November 2007he seemed to have recovered his standing. His fall from power by no means entailed disgrace. Former Prime Minister Utkir Sultanov, who was replaced in 2003, then spent three years as a Deputy Prime Minister before moving on to head the TAPOich aircraft manufacturing plant (Karimov's own alma mater).

According to contacts in the Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers, National Security Service Chairman Rustam Inoyatov favored Mirziyaev as the next President of Uzbekistan. According to this version of the palace intrigue, Inoyatov had sufficient compromising information on Mirziyaev to ensure his own interests are protected.

Radio Free Europe ran an interview late 21 February 2008 with Prime Minister Mirziyaev's press secretary, Sherzod Kudratkhojaev, who denied the Uzmetronom internet report and said his boss will remain in office. Russia's Interfax news agency, meanwhile, reported that an official Uzbek Government news service had also denied the report. Mass media inside Uzbekistan (print, telvision, radio) have been entirely silent on the issue, and no governmental denial has appeared online. The report clearly touched a raw nerve in certain quarters.

In early 2009 sources said President Karimov was retaining Prime Minister Mirziyaev for the time being, but members of the Apparat and Karimov perceived him as unprofessional and Karimov was planning to replace him at an appropriate time. First Deputy Prime Minister Azimov would move up to Prime Minister.

On 27 January 2010, the Legislative Chamber and Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan assembled for a joint session. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov attended the convention. Karimov delivered a speech entitled “Modernization of the country and fostering a solid civil society is our key priority”. Furthermore, the Head of nation nominated Shavkat Mirziyoyev for the position of Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister. Members of parliament endorsed the recommendation and appointed Mirziyoyev Prime Minister of the Republic.

In accordance with the Constitution, the Prime Minister was nominated by the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the highest number of seats in the Legislative (lower) Chamber of Parliament. Following the elections held on December 21, 2014, the party won 52 parliamentary seats and retained a majority in the new parliament. Uzbek President Islam Karimov after consideration of nominations submitted for approval to the proposed Mirzieev Houses of Parliament. Leaders of all four factions and deputy group of the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, the lower house of parliament supported the candidacy Mirzieev, said the agency interlocutor. During his statement in the position of head of the government voted a majority of the 150 deputies of the lower house and 100 members of the Senate.

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