President Islam Karimov, 78 years old, is in intensive care after suffering a brain haemorrhage. President Islam Karimov – in power since 1990 – was re-elected for a 5-year term in March 2015. Political power is concentrated in his hands and those of political elites.

Impact on country risk

Given the President’s illness and following the demise of his daughter Gulnara Karimova who was seen as his successor, the main question is what will happen when Karimov leaves power. According to the constitution, the executive power should be transferred to the head of the Senate and early presidential elections should be called. The successor is likely to be chosen in closed-door bargaining between the heads of major clans, the security apparatus and the most powerful ministers. No change of the political system is expected in case of smooth succession. Without consensus on a successor, political instability is likely. Following the illness of the president, no cover policy change is expected. Indeed, the ST and MLT political risk have been downgraded to category 6 in December last year and in April this year respectively.

Analyst: Pascaline della Faille, p.dellafaille@credendogroup.com