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Uzbekistan Picks President, But Who Will Be PM?

The main intrigue in Uzbekistan now the presidential election is over concerns the identity of the next prime minister.

As was expected, Shavkat Mirziyoyev won the December 4 election handily by securing more than 88 percent of the vote. He will now be coronated president, but will yield the office of prime minister, which he never abandoned following the death of  President Islam Karimov.

Mirziyoyev has been prime minister for 13 years and the identity of his replacement will fuel speculation about how the incoming leadership is going to run affairs and whether some elite infighting lies ahead.

Under the accepted procedure, the prime minister should be nominated by the party in the lower house of parliament with most seats or a coalition of parties able to muster a majority. Uzbekistan’s legislature is a dummy institution and such distinctions are fundamentally meaningless, but for the sake of outlining the facts, the largest party in the Oliy Majlis, with 52 out of 150 available seats, is the Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party, or UzLiDeP, which supported Mirziyoyev’s bid for the presidency. 

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Uzbekistan Picks President, But Who Will Be PM?

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