Uzbekistan Faces Continuity With Karimov’s Successor—and the Same Challenges

The funeral ceremony for the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 6, 2016 (Sputnik photo by Alexei Druzhinin).
The funeral ceremony for the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 6, 2016 (Sputnik photo by Alexei Druzhinin).

Islam Karimov, who ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years, is dead. Rumors began circulating on Aug. 26 that the 78-year-old dictator had been hospitalized with a stroke. Official recognition came two days later. On Sept. 2, following endless speculation, Uzbek officials announced the death of the country’s long-serving strongman, which leaves a great deal of uncertainty. Almost half of Uzbekistan’s 32 million people have not known life without Karimov as president. Karimov, who grew up in an orphanage in Samarkand, became first secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan in 1989 and declared the republic’s independence on Sept. 1, 1991. He […]

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