Saturday, February 01, 2014

Uzbekistan's Feuding Elite

I'd noted in passing that two daughters of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov were engaging in an unusually high-profile feud involving corruption investigations, and thought it might be related to what might happen after Karimov's rule ends, but I haven't kept up with Central Asia for several years, and so wasn't sure how much sense that made.  The IWPR provides good context, however, noting the importance of a faction around Rustam Inoyatov, director of the SNB, Uzbekistan's internal security agency:
A Tashkent-based political analyst who asked to remain anonymous agreed with this view, arguing that Inoyatov’s group appeared to be hoping that placed under enough pressure, Gulnara (Karimova) would make a fatal error that would knock her out as a contender...
From the outside, post-Soviet Uzbekistan looks like a monolithic authoritarian system with Karimov at the top. A more accurate picture is one where different political factions vie for attention and power, and come in and out of favour. The president, meanwhile, stays in charge by adeptly playing one group off against another...
Inoyatov and his allies are from Tashkent, although the anonymous expert interviewed for this report argues that there are two factions here rather than one. There is the security-agency faction around Inoyatov, and a technocratic group including Prime Minister Shavqat Mirzoev and his deputy Rustam Azimov...
Karimov will be 77 by the time of the next election (in 2015), and much speculation surrounds whether he will wish to stand again. He does not discuss the matter himself, nor is it a topic for the state-run media. He has run Uzbekistan since the late Soviet period, and has been re-elected several times over, engineering extra terms by changing the constitution...
Yuldashev does not predict an overt challenge, but believes that Inoyatov’s group may already be seeking to ease Karimov out.
By this reading, the Tashkent-based Inoyatov faction used the corruption ruckus to dismantle the Gulnara Karimova's economic empire and effectively remove her as a possibly presidential contender.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home