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Have Central Asia's Succession Plans Clarified?

Oct 20, 2015 | 09:00 GMT
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) and his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov in Astana.
(STANISLAV FILIPPOV/AFP/GettyImages)

Once again, Central Asian media are buzzing with speculation that the longtime leaders of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have finally solidified their succession plans. On Sept. 11, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev promoted his eldest daughter, Dariga, to the post of deputy prime minister, suggesting to many that she is now his chosen successor. In neighboring Uzbekistan, an opposition website published a detailed story asserting that President Islam Karimov has chosen his youngest daughter, Lola, to follow him in office. Both men have headed their respective governments since 1989, and these types of rumors have sprung up in the past. Each round of speculation has its own peculiarities and differing degrees of validity -- and each provides hints of the political struggles in each country....

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