Uzbekistan’s Presidential Expiration Date

by Nathan Hamm on 1/22/2007 · 6 comments

Islam KarimovAccording to his opponents, the term of the President of Uzbekistan expires tomorrow, January 23. President Karimov’s opponents claim that because he was last sworn into office on January 22, 2000, his constitutional mandate ends when the calendar turns over to the 23rd. But according to the legislature, his mandate ends in December. Arkady Dubnov summarizes the issue.

The prevailing opinion in the republic is that everything is being done by the book, i.e. by Article 117 of the Constitution which was amended in the wake of the 2000 referendum. The amended article states that elections at all levels of state power are organized “the year when the term of office expires, in the first Sunday of the third decade of December.” It means that between tomorrow and December 23, 2007, the day of the presidential election, Karimov’s legitimacy as the president is going to be questionable (to put it mildly). Article 90 of the Constitution sets the term of office for presidents at 7 years and not at 7 years and 11 months…

As previously reported, Jahongir Shosalimov filed an inquiry with the Constitutional Court to decide when Karimov’s term ends. It should come as no surprise that the court ignored him.

That Karimov would stay in office was a foregone conclusion. The real question is whether or not he will serve a third (or fourth, depending on how one counts them) term.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Nick January 22, 2007 at 3:32 pm

“The real question is whether or not he will serve a third (or fourth, depending on how one counts them) term.”

Is the Pope … ? Do bears … ?

Nathan January 22, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Well, yeah, of course. But…

The government seems all into making constitutional and legal changes that it can spin as increasing democracy. Amending the constitution and running another entirely unfair election would perhaps draw more than having a referendum or parliamentary vote extending the term. I think odds are probably even that he just gets an extension to the term.

brian January 22, 2007 at 7:32 pm

I know this is awful, but I’m half-hoping that Karimov puts Gulnara in charge… only because I’m just so curious to see what would happen.

Bertrand January 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Constitution, smonstitution. That’s the problem with Westerners…always hung up on technicalities. If Gulnara were in charge, Uzbekistan would have the world’s largest fashion show.

mojo blues January 22, 2007 at 10:16 pm

el presidente goo goo goosha
party un boyz !!

AZJON January 24, 2007 at 5:00 am


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