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Reports: Influential Uzbek Official Azimov Out As Deputy Prime Minister

Rustam Azimov
Rustam Azimov

TASHKENT -- Media reports in Uzbekistan say Rustam Azimov, an influential official who had been seen as a possible successor to the late President Islam Karimov, has been dismissed from the post of deputy prime minister.

The reports on June 6 said that Azimov has been replaced by former Deputy Finance Minister Jamshid Kuchkarov due to his "move to another post." No specific position was named, and there was no immediate comment from the government.

Azimov, 58, had been seen as one of three main possible successors to Karimov, whose death was announced on September 2 after more than a quarter-century of autocratic rule in the most populous former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

But longtime Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev was installed as interim president and then elected in a tightly controlled December 4 vote.

Mirziyaev promised major personnel changes in the government when he was inaugurated on December 14.

Azimov, who for many years combined the responsibilities of finance minister and deputy prime minister responsible for macroeconomic development and foreign investment, was relieved from the post of finance minister two days later.

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