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Long-Serving Uzbek Central-Bank Chief Dead At 67

Fayzulla Mullajonov died in Tashkent on May 23 of kidney failure.

Long-serving Uzbek Central Bank chief Fayzulla Mullajonov has died at the age of 67.

Members of Mullajonov's family told RFE/RL that he died in Tashkent on May 23 of kidney failure.

Mullajonov was buried at a cemetery in the capital on May 24. State-run media in the tightly controlled Central Asian country carried a statement by President Shavkat Mirziyaev and other officials expressing condolences.

Mullajonov had headed the Central Bank since 1991, the year Uzbekistan gained independence in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

His health had reportedly been deteriorating for the past two years, but autocratic former President Islam Karimov reportedly refused to accept his resignation even after he suffered kidney failure and was briefly in a coma.

Karimov died last year after more than 25 years in power.

News reports and sources at the bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, said the bank's first deputy chairman, Saidkamol Hojaev, was named acting chairman.