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Uzbekistan: Deputy PM Sidelined in Power Grab

Then-Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev, left, and then-Finance Minister Rustam Azimov standing on either side of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on September 3, 2016, during the late President Islam Karimov's funeral in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Photo: Tajikistan Presidential Office).

Uzbekistan’s deputy prime minister and a one-time presidential contender has reportedly stepped down in a development that suggests the president is bolstering his power.

Gazeta.uz reported on June 6 that Rustam Azimov will leave the government, where he oversaw macroeconomic developments and reforms, to take over Uzbekinvest, a state company that ostensibly deals in insuring foreign investments in Uzbekistan.

The extent of the demotion is a transparent gesture intended to humiliate Azimov and was, by and large, to be expected.

The final straw came for Azimov during a government meeting at the end of May, when President Shavkat Mirziyoyev tore strips off him over his purported inability to fix the country’s financial system.

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Uzbekistan: Deputy PM Sidelined in Power Grab

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