In 2016, the first president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, passed away. For twenty-five years, he ruled the republic unchangeably, setting a tough authoritarian regime. Through an unprecedented increase in the influence of power structures, he ensured order and stability in the country, but all this was accompanied by the suppression of the individual and the dominance of the state in all spheres of public life.
Local propaganda calls its first national leader the father of independence, but until a certain point he retained absolute loyalty to the USSR, having gone from a simple engineer to the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Uzbek SSR.
President of Uzbekistan Karimov was born back in 1938 in Samarkand. He was trained at the Central Asian Polytechnic Institute, after which he began working at the Tashselmash plant. Then in his career was Chkalov Aviation Plant, where he worked as an engineer.
In 1966, the novice manager went to work in the State Planning Committee of the Republic. Here Islam Karimov began to climb up the career ladder, reaching the position of Minister of Finance and Head of the State Planning Commission. In 1986 he was sent to head the Kashkadarya region as the first secretary of the Central Committee of the regional committee. Here he established himself as a man of exceptional personal integrity and integrity, which was rare in the eastern republics. After the transfer of the actual head of the Uzbek SSR Rafik Nishanov to Moscow, he became the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the republic.
Islam Karimov showed no special separatist aspirations and actively campaigned the population of Uzbekistan for preserving the USSR in a referendum in March 1991. The administrative resource worked properly, and more than 90% of citizens showed loyalty to the central government.
However, after the August putsch, the hardened politician understood the essence of the events and immediately proclaimed the independence of Uzbekistan so that he would not be overtaken by power-hungry competitors. In December 1991, the people of Uzbekistan also unanimously voted to seize the republic from the USSR, which, however, ordered to live long.
In contrast to the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, in the CIS, power remained in the hands of the former so-called communists, who instantly changed their political orientation. Especially significant was the example of Uzbekistan, where members of the Communist Party in full joined the People’s Democratic Party, headed by former first secretary Islam Karimov.
The presidential elections of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1991 were held on an alternative basis. Karimov was opposed by Muhammad Salih, the chairman of the Erk movement. For the current head voted 86% of voters, and he led the country.
President Karimov has a difficult legacy. Against the background of the revival of interest in religion, the Islamists, whose positions were particularly strong in the Fergana Valley, became more active. To avoid open hostilities, Karimov had to personally fly to Namangan and negotiate with the leaders of the radicals, which required a great deal of personal courage.
For tactical purposes, he had to promise the fulfillment of all the conditions of fundamentalists in the coming years, but then he began to harshly suppress such statements, forcing extremists out of the country.
Economy and Uzbek model
Having a diploma from the Tashkent Institute of National Economy, the President of Uzbekistan realized that he was a great economist. He even developed a whole national economic model for the republic, the main five provisions of which every Uzbek schoolchild was supposed to memorize. The president of Uzbekistan wrote a book about this that was thoroughly studied in social studies in schools and universities.
Unlike Yeltsin, Karimov did not bother his people with shock therapy, conducting a gradual transition to market relations. Against the background of rampant crime and lawlessness in Russia, Ukraine, residents of the republic thought they were lucky, and the president of Uzbekistan is working in the right direction. However, at the beginning of the two thousand years, there was a real stagnation in the economy, neighboring Kazakhstan abruptly rushed forward, while the potentially richer Uzbekistan did not show active development.
Today, the main exports are cotton, other agricultural products and natural resources.
It comes to ridiculous and sad. The country, one of the ten largest importers of natural gas in the world, in the winter period dramatically reduces the distribution of blue fuel to its citizens, especially in rural areas, which is why traditional heating methods are used - with the help of firewood and manure.
After a stroke, the President of Uzbekistan passed away on August 29, 2016. The funeral took place on September 3. Karimov’s successor was former Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev.