Shavkat Mirziyoyev

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Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Шавкат Мирзиёев
2nd President of Uzbekistan
Assumed office
14 December 2016
Acting: 8 September 2016 – 14 December 2016
Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov
Preceded by Nigmatilla Yuldashev (Acting)
Prime Minister of Uzbekistan
In office
12 December 2003 – 14 December 2016
President Islam Karimov
Nigmatilla Yuldashev (Acting)
Himself (Interim)
Deputy Abdulla Aripov
Ergash Shoismatov
Abdulla Aripov
Preceded by Oʻtkir Sultonov
Succeeded by Abdulla Aripov
Personal details
Born Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev
(1957-07-24) 24 July 1957 (age 60)
Jizzakh Region, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan)
Political party Self-Sacrifice National
Democratic Party
(Before 2008)
National Revival Democratic
Liberal Democratic Party (2016–present)
Spouse(s) Ziroatkhon Hoshimova
Children 3
Alma mater Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration

Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev (Uzbek Cyrillic and Russian: Шавкат Миромонович Мирзиёев; born 24 July 1957[1][2]) is an Uzbek politician who has been President of Uzbekistan since 2016. Previously he was the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan from 2003[3][4] to 2016.

Following the death of President Islam Karimov, he was appointed by the Supreme Assembly as interim President of Uzbekistan on 8 September 2016.[5] He was subsequently elected as President in the December 2016 presidential election, winning 88.6% of the vote, and was sworn in on 14 December 2016.

Life and career[edit]

In 1981, Mirziyoyev graduated from the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration. He holds a Candidate (Ph.D) degree in Technological Sciences.[6]

He served as governor (Hakim) of Jizzakh Region from 1996 to September 2001, then as governor of Samarqand Region from September 2001 until his appointment as Prime Minister in 2003.[3] He was nominated as Prime Minister by President Islam Karimov on December 12, 2003, and approved by the Uzbek parliament. He replaced Prime Minister O‘tkir Sultonov. His deputy was Ergash Shoismatov.[7]

Mirziyoyev and Han Myeong-sook, the Prime Minister of South Korea, met in Tashkent on 25 September 2006. They signed several agreements, including one deal in which Uzbekistan will send 300 tons of Uzbek uranium ore to South Korea every year from 2010 to 2014. The deal bypasses U.S. companies that acted previously as middlemen for South Korean imports of Uzbek uranium ore. Han also met with President Islam Karimov and parliament speaker Erkin Xalilov. Han and Mirziyayev boosted cooperation in the energy, agriculture, construction, architecture, and information technology sectors. Trade between South Korea and Uzbekistan increased by nearly 40% between 2005 and 2006, to $565 million.[4]

According to a 2017 report by Human Rights Watch on forced and child labour in the cotton sector of Uzbekistan, during his time as prime minister from 2003 to 2016 Mirziyoyev "oversaw the cotton production system, and as the previous governor of Jizzakh and Samarkand, he was in charge of two cotton-producing regions. The 2016 harvest, when Mirziyoyev was acting president and retained control over cotton production, continued to be defined by mass involuntary mobilization of workers under threat of penalty." The report states that during a 2015 conference call with local authorities and farmers Mirziyayev said “Go to the homes of farmers in debt, who can’t repay their credit, take their cars, livestock, and if there are none, take the slate from their roofs!”[8]


Mirziyoyev with Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Mirziyoyev with Vladimir Putin.
Mirziyoyev at the 2018 SCO summit in China

A member of the Samarkand clan, he was considered to be one of the leading potential successors to Islam Karimov as President of Uzbekistan. Mirziyoyev was reported to have friendly relations with Karimov's wife, Tatyana Karimova, and National Security Council chairman Rustam Inoyatov.[9]

After the death of Karimov was announced on 2 September 2016, Mirziyoyev was appointed as head of the committee organizing the funeral of the President.[10] That was taken as a sign that Mirziyoyev would succeed Karimov as President.[6] On 8 September 2016, he was appointed as Interim President of Uzbekistan by a joint session of both houses of parliament. Although the Chairman of the Senate, Nigmatilla Yuldashev, was constitutionally designated as Karimov's successor, Yuldashev proposed that Mirziyoyev take the post of Interim President instead in light of Mirziyoyev's "many years of experience".[11] There were expectations that Mirziyoyev would repair Uzbek relations with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He started to settle a long-running border dispute with Kyrgyzstan, and regular flights between the capitals of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were set to resume in January 2017 for the first time since 1992.[12][13]

The electoral commission announced on 16 September that Mirziyoyev would stand in the December 2016 presidential election as the candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party.[14]

Mirziyoyev won the election, held on 4 December 2016, with 88.6% of the vote according to official results, defeating three minor candidates. The election was described by the Economist as a sham; the paper wrote that Mirziyoyev's bent was as authoritarian as that of Karimov and that state media claimed the choice was between Mirziyoyev, chaos, or Islamic radicalism. It also claimed that the three opponents were only on the ballot to keep up the appearance of pluralism. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said the election lacked "a genuine choice," pointing to instances of ballot box stuffing and proxy voting.[15]

On 12 December 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov was nominated to take over from Mirziyoyev as Prime Minister.[16] Mirziyoyev was sworn in as President on 14 December, vowing to "continue the work of my dear teacher, the great statesman Islam Karimov", while also promising "many changes in the cabinet". Aripov was confirmed as Prime Minister by parliament on the same day;[17] a cabinet reshuffle followed on 15 December.[18] On 6 March 2017, he made a state visit to Turkmenistan; it was his first foreign trip after the election.[19]

In the three months following the death of Islam Karimov, Mirziyoyev began to hint at reforms to longstanding policies that had held back the Uzbek economy and isolated the country internationally, so many analysts believed that Mirziyoyev would be a better president than his predecessor.[20][21]

However, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that "The people of Uzbekistan play no part in political decision-making processes. So far, no parliamentary or presidential election held in the post-Soviet era has been considered as either free or fair by the international community... Given the sensitive political situation in Uzbekistan, development cooperation activities there are implemented as far away from government circles as possible."[22] However, the positive results of his rule are visible. Uzbekistan created more than 336,000 new jobs in 2017.[23] The volume of exports increased by almost 15 percent. In 2018, the total financial indicator of exports is expected at 12,1 billion US dollars.[24] He initiated the project of "Tashkent City", intended to attract foreign investors to Uzbekistan. Mirziyoyev promised to resume negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on joining the organization in 2018. On several occasions, he sharply criticized the administration and officials in the presence of media.[25]

On December 22, the first time in the country's history, Shavkat Mirziyoyev made an appeal to the parliament. His speech lasted for 4 hours.[26] Among other, he said:

Some people tell me that I did not know about everything in country when I was a prime minister? I knew everything, but the environment was bad. Now I am talking about it openly, even if some people do not like it. Several years the so-called ‘rats’, ‘the children of some people’ did much to spoil the country's investment fund. Corruption is implicated in many investment projects, and in some projects, it is 50%. Corruption was also in transport policy, both internal and external.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2018

Some analysts think Mirziyoyev wants to enter in history as a reformer. He removed most of Karimov's officials and urged government to employ "new, young people who love their country." After a year of in office, Mirziyoyev is increasingly moving away from his predecessor's policy, which is especially visibly in his active foreign policy. He visited all the Uzbek regions and big cities to get acquainted with the implementation of the projects and reforms which he ordered. Many analysts and Western media compared his rule with Chinese Deng Xiaoping or Russian Mikhail Gorbachev.[27]

In May 2018, Mirziyoyev was nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize by Olimzhon Tukhtanazarov, who is a representative of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.[28]

Foreign policy[edit]

With Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Mirziyoyev and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in March 2018.

Mirziyoyev's foreign policy is more open than the policy of his predecessor. Uzbekistan was practically under international isolation after the Andijan massacre in 2005 and Karimov rarely travelled. Mirziyoyev promised to conduct an active foreign policy. During the first 10 months, Mirziyoyev visited Kazakhstan four times, Turkmenistan three times, Russia two times, as well as China, Saudi Arabia, United States, Turkey and Kyrgyzstan. At the different occasions, he met the Presidents of Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Belarus and King of Spain. During the CIS Summit in Tashkent in November 2017, he met 8 Prime Ministers of foreign countries. Very significant is the gradual improvement of the relations with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.[29][30] On 5 September, he made a historic visit to Kyrgyzstan. That was the first visit of an Uzbek President to this neighboring country since 2000.[31]On 19 September, he addressed the UN General Assembly. In 2018, a large number of foreign leaders are expected in Uzbekistan, including Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko whose visit is scheduled for September and is first state visit after 24 years.[32] In March 2018, he made a visit to Tajikistan, which makes him the first Uzbek president to visit Dushanbe since 2000.[33][34]

Personal life[edit]

His father, Miromon Mirziyoyev worked as a physician for most of his life until death. He worked as the head physician of the tuberculosis dispensary in Zaamin. He also has two sisters, a half-brother, and sister. Mirziyoyev is married to Ziroatkhon Hoshimova and has two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.[35]



  1. ^
  2. ^ "Издательский дом Коммерсантъ". Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. 
  3. ^ a b Brief profile of Mirziyoyev Archived 2007-11-16 at the Wayback Machine., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  4. ^ a b "South Korea, Uzbekistan Sign Uranium Deal", RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, September 25, 2006.
  5. ^ "Uzbekistan PM Mirziyoyev named interim president". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Гахокидзе, Ольга (2 September 2016). "Организацией похорон Каримова займется его возможный преемник" (in Russian). Readus. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Uzbekistan: Political structure". Economist Intelligence Unit. 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  8. ^ Human Rights Watch, "We Can’t Refuse to Pick Cotton: Forced and Child Labor Linked to World Bank Group Investmentsin Uzbekistan", 2017
  9. ^ "Uncertainty over President Islam Karimov's condition roils Uzbekistan". Washington Post. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Комиссию по организации похорон Каримова возглавил премьер Шавкат Мирзиёев" (in Russian). Kommersant. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "Reports: Uzbekistan Appoints Mirziyaev As Interim President". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  12. ^ "Uzbekistan: Mirziyoyev Flirting With Regional Reset?". Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
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  14. ^ "Uzbekistan's acting president to run in December election", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 16 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Uzbekistan replaces one strongman with another". The Economist. 6 December 2016. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  16. ^ "Uzbek party nominates deputy cabinet head Aripov for PM", Reuters, 12 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Uzbekistan's new leader promises major government reshuffle", Reuters, 14 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Uzbekistan: Azimov loses job at Finance Ministry", Choihona, 15 December 2016.
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  20. ^ "Public receptions of President to be created in Uzbekistan". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  21. ^ "New Uzbekistan president's conciliatory tack brings hope of change". Financial Times. 
  22. ^ "Uzbekistan". Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
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  24. ^ "Uzbekistan's exports to reach US$12.1 billion in 2018". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  25. ^ "President: Uzbekistan to resume negotiations with WTO in 2018". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  26. ^ Zhalil, Madina. "President of Uzbekistan: When I was Prime Minister I knew everything in my country". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  27. ^ Uzbekistan’s Mirziyoyev Is Undoing Karimov’s Legacy, And It’s About Time
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  29. ^ "Uzbekistan: Are Things any Better under Shavkat Mirziyoyev?". International Policy Digest. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  30. ^ Dubnov, Arkady. "Will Mirziyoyev Bring Change to Uzbekistan?". Carnegie Moscow Center. Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  31. ^ "Президент Узбекистана 5-6 сентября посетит Кыргызстан". (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Mirziyoyev's first ever visit to Dushanbe - AKIpress News Agency". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  34. ^ Шавкат Мирзиёев посетит Таджикистан с визитом
  35. ^ "Biography of the candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev | Uzbekistan". Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  36. ^ "Honors". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
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  38. ^ "Shavkat Mirziyoyev was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Seoul". Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  39. ^

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Oʻtkir Sultonov
Prime Minister of Uzbekistan
Succeeded by
Abdulla Aripov
Preceded by
Nigmatilla Yuldashev
President of Uzbekistan