Contrary to expectations, since coming to power in September 2016, President Mirziyoyev has made a number of moves to open up Uzbekistan economically and, to a lesser extent, politically. As Mirziyoyev reboots the stagnated economy, he faces opposition from Uzbekistan’s leading grey cardinal Rustam Inoyatov, the long-standing chief of the country’s security services (SNB). Relations between these - the two most powerful individuals in the country - will shape Uzbekistan’s transition.
- In his first year in power, the president has rebuilt ties with the country’s neighbours, instigated a sweeping currency reform, and signed multi-billion dollar investment agreements.
- To consolidate his position and push forward his gradual reforms, President Mirziyoyev has appointed allies to key government posts, replacing many members of the elite from former president Karimov’s regime. Inoyatov has seen his position undermined, but still retains a great deal of influence.