Influential deputy PM of Uzbekistan reportedly dismissed

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Media reports in Uzbekistan say Rustam Azimov, an influential official who had been seen as a possible successor to the late President Islam Karimov, has been dismissed from the post of deputy prime minister, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports.

The reports on June 6 said that Azimov has been replaced by former Deputy Finance Minister Jamshid Kuchkarov due to his “move to another post”.

Gazeta.Uz news agency reported on June 6 with reference to sources in the Uzbek government that Azimov will head the National Export-Import Insurance Company Uzbekinvest, the official insurance agency of the government for insurance of exports and investments.

Azimov, 58, had been seen as one of three main possible successors to Karimov, whose death was announced on September 2 after more than a quarter-century of autocratic rule in Uzbekistan, RFE/RL reported.

But longtime Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev was installed as interim president and then elected in a tightly controlled December 4 presidential vote.

Mirziyoyev promised major personnel changes in the government when he was inaugurated on December 14.

Azimov, who for many years combined the responsibilities of finance minister and deputy prime minister responsible for macroeconomic development and foreign investment, was relieved from the post of finance minister two days later.

Local observers told Fergana News Agency that Azimov’s resignation is a significant event confirming the complete victory of President Mirziyoyev, who hastily builds his own power vertical.

Sergey Kwan

TCA