Uzbek president seeks 2nd term in poll with no real opposition

Moscow, Oct 24 (EFE).- President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan is almost certain to win a second five-year term as the country’s voters Sunday cast their ballots in an election that featured no true opposition candidates.

The Central Electoral Commission declared the elections in the Central Asian nation valid after 33% of the Uzbek population turned out to vote by early afternoon.

Mirziyoyev, as well as the other four candidates, voted in the presidential elections in the former Soviet republic, where more than 21 million people are called upon to vote.

No incidents have been reported so far, according to the authorities, while international observers called the electoral process transparent.

The 64-year-old incumbent, who took office five years ago upon the death of the gas-rich country’s first president, Islam Karimov, served as the prime minister between 2003 and 2016.

Opposition candidates were excluded from the vote as only politicians from parties approved by the authorities can run for president.

Despite Mirziyoyev’s promises of reforms after assuming office, none of the three Uzbek opposition parties managed to gain legal status.

The elections are monitored by observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), whose head of mission met with Mirziyoyev on the eve of the elections.

Mirziyoyev won by a landslide five years ago with 88.6% of the vote and is expected to land a second term by a large margin this time around.EFE


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