Uzbeks at prayer in a Tashkent mosque (file photo) (Bymedia.net)
August 8, 2006 -- Uzbekistan's leading Muslim scholars, the Council of Ulemas, has elected Usman Alemov as the country's new chief mufti.
Alemov replaces Abdurashid Bakhromov, who reportedly resigned on health grounds.
Born in 1950, Alemov graduated from the Tashkent Islamic Institute and was, until today, the chief mufti of the Samarkand region.
Uzbekistan's UzMetronom nongovernmental information website, however, believes the main reason behind Bakhromov's departure is his alleged failure to stem the spread of dissidents religious groups in the country.