Uzbekistan still retains traces of the influence of the Soviet Union, but they are much smaller. Everything changed when the incumbent president changed.
The current Uzbek president is Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev, an ethnic Uzbek. And this is a really interesting person.
History of taking office
On September 2, 2016, the previous head of the country, Islam Karimov, died. He was a very conservative person, holding the appropriate political course. Nigmatilla Yuldoshev, chairman of the Senate, became acting. Already on the 8th, he recused himself, voluntarily resigning from the presidency. There were many disputes about this, but in the end, the parliament approved Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Since 2003 he has been the prime minister of the country.
On December 4 of the same year, Mirziyoyev won a resounding victory in early presidential elections. More than 80% of the votes were cast for him.
In 2021 Mirziyoyev was elected for a second term. In 2023, a referendum was held on the adoption of amendments to the constitution of Uzbekistan. 90% of the votes were cast in their favor. The amendments were adopted, which increased the presidential term to 7 years and reset the current counter (in Uzbekistan, the president can be elected for a maximum of two terms). Another early re-election — and Shavkat Mirziyoyev is again the leader of the country.
The President has done a lot for Uzbekistan. The country even changed the type of economy (from command to open market). International relations were established, which were previously hindered by the closed state. The main partners were the countries of Central Asia, the CIS, the EU, China, and South Korea. This provided an influx of investments and allowed a sharp increase in exports.
Within the country, there were also changes. Many obstacles to business have disappeared, and the role of the private sector has increased. The standard of living has increased. Mirziyoyev fought against corrupt officials, embezzlers, bribe-takers, and bureaucrats. Many were convicted. At the same time, he released political and religious prisoners and human rights activists.
Citizens received much more rights and freedoms. Child labor was completely banned, and forced labor was actively reduced. Improved education and social protection. There is more freedom of speech. The authorities have become closer, Mirziyoyev even has a virtual reception room.
Some of the President’s actions seem somewhat contradictory. Mirziyoyev actively promoted the religious issue, thereby strengthening and expanding the influence of Islam. The number of mosques increased, minors were admitted to the rites. The Center of Islamic Civilization appeared. At the same time, leaders of radical Islamists were arrested, bloggers were fined for speaking out in support of the spread of Islam, and illegal Muslim schools were closed.
Difficult relations connect the leader with Jahongir Artykhodzhaev. Mirziyoyev supported him while still being prime minister. In 2018, Artykhodzhaeva became the khokim of Tashkent — in fact, the head. But in early 2023, the president’s protégé lost his position on the personal order of a former benefactor. The reason is interruptions in energy due to frost, which Artykhodzhaev could not cope with.