After the death of Islam Karimov, who was the first and only President of the independent Republic of Uzbekistan, the question of the presidential successor is one of the mainly discussed topics.
Citizens of Uzbekistan as well as external observers have long been speculating how the succession can be carried out. Some years ago it seemed to be likely that the Azerbaijan model of succession could be adopted and that the oldest daughter of Karimov could be installed as a successor. But currently it becomes evident that this model has no chance.
There are 4 registered candidates for the presidency: Nariman Umarov (Adolat Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan), Hatamjon Ketmonov (The People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan), Sarvar Otamuratov (Milly Tiklanish Democratic Party of Uzbekistan), and the interim head of state as well as the most likely successor Shavkat Merziyoyev (The Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan).
Although the parties‘ names content a claim to be “democratic” it is doubtful whether the elections (on Sunday 4 December 2016) in such a hard-line autocracy will be fair and free and, hence, whether the basic criteria for a democratic election can be fulfilled. It is also doubtful whether the death of Islam Karimov and the imminent elections will be the end of the system and not only of an era.