Lord Venal has received a missive from one of his sources in Tashkent revealing the outcome of a secret meeting in Uzbekistan’s capital between heir-apparent Shavkat Mirziyoyev and his long-time sidekick Rustam Azimov.
Shortly after the news broke on 28 August of President Islam Karimov’s hospitalisation, Shavkat apparently invited Rustam to Tashkent’s Polyanka restaurant for a discreet tête-à-tête.
Lord Venal’s source saw a happy looking Rustam leave the restaurant clutching a beermat, while a self-satisfied looking Shavkat dropped his to the floor as he left.
The source retrieved the beermat and found the following formula scribbled on it:
(SM x 2) = (RA=PM x 2) = SM
Our source was puzzled, but Lord Venal sniffed a pact along the lines of the infamous Granita Pact between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the UK in the 90S.
He has interpreted the coded message to mean that Mirziyoyev will be president for two terms with Azimov as his prime minister. The reins of power will then be handed over to the PM.
As with all these deals, there’s a catch – Mirziyoyev is widely expected to introduce a 14-year presidential term, thus allowing him to be forever known as Uzbekistan’s longest serving president after serving his two terms allowed in the constitution, beating the late Karimov by a year, who will forever be known as Uzbekistan’s first president.
By that time Azimov will be in his mid-8os – a classic case of better late then never.