President Mirziyoyev abandoned plans to curb the autonomy of Karakalpak after a rare protest in the northwestern province.
Uzbekistan declared a month-long state of emergency in the autonomous republic rare objections President Shavkat forced Mirziyoyev to withdraw from some constitutional reforms.
Presidential press secretary Sherzod Asadov wrote on Telegram on Saturday that the state of emergency in the Republic of Karakalpakstan will continue after Sunday midnight (Saturday 19:00 GMT) until August 2.
It is stated in the information that the measure is carried out for the purpose of “ensuring the safety of citizens, protecting their rights and freedoms (and) restoring order”.
> The president of Uzbekistan arrived in Karakalpakstan on Saturday and promised to cancel proposed constitutional amendments that would weaken the status of the territory.
Uzbek officials said a rally was held Friday to protest plans for constitutional reforms that would change the status of the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, home to the Karakalpak people, an ethnic minority with its own language.
Local and government officials said police dispersed protesters in the regional capital, Nukus, after some tried to storm local government buildings following a march and rally in the city’s central market.
According to the current Uzbek constitution, Karakalpakstan is described as a sovereign republic within Uzbekistan and has the right to secede through a referendum.
The new version of the constitution, which Uzbekistan plans to put to a public vote in the coming months, will no longer mention Karakalpakstan’s sovereignty or right to secede.
However, Mirziyoyev, who reacted quickly to the protest, said during his visit to Karakalpakstan on Saturday that changes related to his status should be excluded from the proposed reform, his office said in a statement.
The government of Karakalpakstan said in a statement on Saturday that the police detained the leaders of Friday’s protest and several other protesters who resisted.
The joint statement of the republic’s police, parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers states that “provocateurs” tried to “seize state institutions… divide society and disrupt the socio-political situation in Uzbekistan.”
“Organizers of mass riots and a group of people actively resisting law enforcement agencies were detained. Operational-investigative measures are being continued against them,” the statement said, blaming a “criminal group” for the riots.
The Karakalpakstan changes were part of a broader constitutional reform proposed by Mirziyoyev, which would have strengthened civil rights and extended the presidential term from five to seven years.
If the reform is approved in the planned referendum, it will reset Mirziyoyev’s presidential term count and allow him to run for two more terms.
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