ALMATY: Uzbekistan’s parliament named Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev as interim president on Thursday in succession to the late President Islam Karimov, saying stability and law and order had to be maintained in the populous Central Asian state.
Mirziyoyev, 59, secured the top job when the man who should have become transitional leader under the constitution bowed out in his favour, saying he had long experience in office and enjoyed the respect of people.
The authoritarian Karimov died of a stroke last week aged 78 after ruling the resource-rich country for 27 years.
Under the Uzbek constitution, a presidential election must now be held within three months, and Mirziyoyev, who was the official mourner-in-chief at Karimov’s funeral and met Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, is widely expected to be elected.
Russia, the United States and China vie for influence in Uzbekistan, a country of 32 million bordering Afghanistan.