Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov no more

Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov has died, leaving no obvious successor to lead Central Asia’s most populus country. Mr Karimov has run an authoritarian regime since 1989, suppressing opposition and cultivating no apparent successor, leaving a power vacuum.

Recently, Uzbekistan celebrated its Independence Day, marking 25 years since the country seceded from the Soviet Union, and it was widely assumed that if the government would not break news about Mr Karimov until after the festivities.

The Uzbek government initally released a statement saying only that Karimov’s health had “sharply deteriorated in the past 24 hours to reach a critical state”. The initial message followed days of unofficial reports Mr Karimov was near to death after he suffered a stroke last week. His daughter Lola said the Karimov had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yıldırım, revealed the news in a televised meeting with his cabinet, saying: “We send our condolences and share the pain of the Uzbek people.”