Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov 30 January 1938 – 2 September 2016) was the leader of Uzbekistan and its predecessor state, the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, from 1989 until his death in 2016. He was the last First Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan from 1989 to 1991, when the party was reconstituted as the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDP); he led the PDP until 1996. He was the President of the Uzbek SSR from 24 March 1990 until he declared the independence of Uzbekistan on 1 September 1991.
He declared Uzbekistan an independent nation on 31 August 1991 and subsequently won its first presidential election on 29 December 1991, with 86% of the vote. Foreign observers and opposition party cited voting irregularities, alleging state-run propaganda and a falsified vote count, although the opposing candidate and leader of the Erk Liberty Party, Muhammad Salih, had a chance to participate. Karimov's first presidential term was extended to 2000 by way of a referendum, and he was re-elected in 2000, 2007 and 2015, each time receiving over 90% of the vote.
On 29 August 2016, he was reported to be in intensive care after suffering a stroke. He died on 2 September 2016, the day after the 25th anniversary of his taking office as President of Uzbekistan.Shavkat Mirziyoyev became his successor