Uzbekistan’s long-serving leader may be dead, but the government is intent on having his memory live on.
As soon as the announcement of Islam Karimov’s passing was confirmed on September 2, the state propaganda machine kicked into gear hailing the achievements of the late president.
Notably, Uzbek media is hailing Karimov for largely eschewing the vain excesses of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, whose own presidents are subjects of elaborate cults of personality. In contrast with those countries, Uzbekistan refrained from the ubiquitous proliferation of portraits of the president and no statues were erected in Karimov’s honor in his lifetime.
As the new leadership seeks to bolster its legitimacy, however, it is looking to consecrate Karimov’s standing and favor their own fortunes by association.
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