Shavkat Mirziyoyev is a unique person. Before him, Uzbekistan was a rather backward country with a strong influence of the Soviet Union. The conservative government apparatus prevented development, and the tactics of tyranny silenced the opposition with the most brutal methods. Today, Uzbekistan feels confident on the world stage and is rapidly increasing its GDP. Now the words “president of Uzbekistan” sound proud.
Path to the presidency
Shavkat Mirziyoyev is a mechanical engineer by education. He studied at the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Land Reclamation (graduated in 1981). His future wife studied there, although they did not intersect during their studies; met when Mirziyoyev became secretary of the Komsomol committee. Initially, the future president built a purely scientific career, but in the 1990s he left his native institute and went into politics: Mirziyoyev was elected people’s deputy of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan. After the collapse of the USSR, the future head of state remained a deputy. Already in 1992 he became the head of the administration (the Uzbek title of the position is khokim) of one of the districts of Tashkent, in 1996 he headed the Jizzakh region, and in 2001 the Samarkand region. In 2003 he became the country’s prime minister and left his job in the administration. He was prime minister until 2016.
After the death of the previous president of Uzbekistan, Mirziyoyev was appointed acting (not without some difficulties). Already in December of the same year, he legally headed Uzbekistan.
It must be said that the laws of the country allow for re-election only once, and the presidential term itself is five years. Mirziyoyev won the re-election by a huge margin. Soon after, in 2023, in a national referendum, the residents of Uzbekistan voted to accept amendments to the country’s constitution, which reset the counter for presidential terms and also increased the terms themselves from five to seven years. And in the new elections, Mirziyoyev won again.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev is known as a reformer and is still pursuing liberalization. He banned child labor, limited forced labor for adults, and established the issuance of full-fledged foreign passports (previously, residents of Uzbekistan did not have them). Political prisoners, victims of the previous regime, were released. The president fought for freedom of speech, although no worthy opposition has yet appeared.
Economic and currency reforms have significantly improved the situation in the country. Mirziyoyev allowed the free conversion of national currency into foreign currency. Took steps to abandon government control of some industries. Increased export volumes and established foreign economic relations. The reforms greatly helped private businesses, especially small ones.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev is a fierce fighter against bureaucracy and corruption. Under him, the bureaucracy was greatly reduced, and bribe takers went to the dock. Many politicians declare their readiness to fight corruption, but few are ready to prove this with action, and the President of Uzbekistan is one of them.