(AFP) Ex-Soviet nation Uzbekistan has plunged into unchartered territory after strongman leader Islam Karimov, who has dominated the country for over 25 years, was rushed into intensive care with a brain haemorrhage.
While conflicting rumours of Karimov's condition buzz through the Central Asian nation, one thing is sure — the strategic country is facing a moment of uncertainty unparallelled in its post-Soviet history. […]
"Uzbeks have known for a long time that that moment would arrive, so no one would be surprised, but no one knows what will happen next," said Scott Radnitz, an associate professor at the University of Washington told AFP.
Despite being dogged by persistent health rumours, Karimov lacks a clear successor after being re-elected to a fifth term in 2015 with more than 90 percent of the vote. The country has never held an election judged free and fair by international monitors.
"There are two questions now: First, is there a plan for succession we don't know about? Second, even if there is, will the principals stick to it?" Radnitz said. […]
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