Uzbekistan appoints PM Shavkat Mirziyoev as acting president

TASHKENT , Uzbekistan, Sept. 8 (UPI) — Shavkat Mirziyoev, Uzbekistan’s prime minister, was named acting president Thursday after the death of longtime President Islam Karimov.

The announcement was made by the country’s parliament, the Supreme Assembly. It noted the appointment contravened Uzbekistan’s constitution by not appointing Senate Speaker Nigmatullah Yuldashev, first in line for succession.

“In the course of the meeting [of parliamentary members]…Mr. Yuldashev himself suggested that it would be expedient to temporarily appoint Prime Minister S. Mirziyoev as acting president given his many years of experience,” the statement from the parliament said.

A presidential election is to be scheduled within three months. Analysts have said security forces chief Rustam Inoyatov and Finance Minister Rustam Azimov could challenge Mirziyoev in an election, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Mirziyoev, 58, became prime minister in 2003, and succeeds Karimov, a hardline and authoritarian leader who presided over the Central Asian country for 26 years before his death, at 78, on September 2. Mirziyoev presided over plans for Karimov’s funeral, and met Russian President Vladimir Putin last week when Putin visited Samarkand, Karimov’s hometown and place of burial, to offer condolences.

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