Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been named as acting president of Uzbekistan following the death of its long-serving leader, Islam Karimov.
Mirziyoyev, who has served as prime minister since 2003, was confirmed as acting president at a joint session of the Uzbek parliament Thursday.
Karimov, the country’s authoritarian ruler of 27 years, died of a brain hemorrhage last week at the age of 78. He was buried in his home town of Samarkand on Saturday, but left no obvious successor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Samarkand Monday, laying flowers at Karimov’s grave and personally giving his condolences to the former president’s widow and daughter.
Mirziyoyev accompanied Putin during his visit, suggesting to many that he was likely to succeed Karimov.
Presidential elections to determine Karimov’s successor should be held within three months, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a representative of Uzbekistan’s parliament.