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Uzbek leader clinches third term in landslide victoryBy Choi Si-young
Published : July 10, 2023 - 19:47
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was reelected for a third term with 87.1 percent of the vote on Sunday, the Central Election Commission said Monday, citing preliminary results.
Mirziyoyev, who took office in 2016 upon his predecessor’s death and was on a second term of five years, called for an early election following a constitutional change by referendum in April that resets his term count and extends presidential terms to seven years.
The 65-year-old leader, who can run one more time for a seven-year term following the Sunday victory, is expected to build on his campaign meant to open up the Central Asian nation of 35 million people.
Since 2016, Mirziyoyev has been backing efforts to boost foreign trade and investment while improving ties with the outside world, according to some observers. They say, domestically, he liberalized the country’s political system to some extent, having reined in the powerful security services and released political prisoners.
The three candidates who ran against the 65-year-old leader were Robaxon Maxmudova of the Justice Social Democratic Party, accounting for 4.4 percent of the vote; Ulugbek Inoyatov of the People’s Democratic Party with 4 percent of the vote; and Abdushukur Xamzayev of the Ecological Party with 3.7 percent of the vote, according to the preliminary results.
The three opponents were a career judge, a former education minister and a former senior forestry official, respectively. The Central Election Commission said the election took place in accordance with international standards, saying those with complaints should be “impartial and objective” in the way they bring attention to them.
The commission highlighted guaranteeing “constitutional rights” of the Uzbeks, saying about 47 international organizations, 800 observers from overseas and 1,400 representatives from local as well as global media outlets were monitoring the election.
Around 16 million Uzbeks, 80 percent of those eligible to vote in Central Asia’s most populous country, cast their ballots in 10,784 polling stations including overseas booths.
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