Two Uzbek senior lawmakers have suggested that President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who enjoys virtually unrestrained political power in Uzbekistan, should be given the honorary title of "Head of the Nation," Radio Liberty reported on September 2.

It's reportedly a nod to one of the more awkwardly conspicuous of Central Asia's anti-democratic trends -- cults of personality fostered by the countries' first post-Soviet leaders -- since gaining independence in the early 1990s.

The Uzbek initiative first came from Senate member Qudratilla Rafiqov, who penned an August 19 article heaping praise on Mirziyoyev's services to the nation.

In the paean, titled The Phenomenon of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the senator said Uzbeks, especially the younger generation, have great confidence in the president and he is widely admired among children.

Mirziyoyev has "something extraordinary about his nature and character" and makes people wonder if "this man ever sleeps or rests," the senator wrote.  His enormous popularity at home is complemented by great respect among regional leaders, he added.

Mirziyoyev should rightfully be called "millat sardori," or "head of the nation," he concluded.

Just days later, Akmal Saidov, a lawmaker from parliament's lower chamber, reportedly issued an article in which he came right out and used the title "head of the nation" for the president.

Paying tribute to Mirziyoyev's purported role in Uzbekistan's development, Saidov also called the president "yurtboshi," or "head of the country."