Uzbekistan’s incumbent president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has overwhelmingly won a new seven-year term in a snap election in which he faced three weak opponents, preliminary results showed Monday.
Mirziyoyev received more than 87% of the vote and each of the challengers about 4%, the country’s national elections commission said.
Sunday’s vote followed a constitutional referendum that extended presidential terms from five to seven years.
In 2021, Mirziyoyev was elected to his second five-year term, the limit allowed by the constitution at the time. A set of constitutional amendments approved in April’s plebiscite allowed him to begin the count of terms anew and run for two more, raising the possibility that he could stay in office until 2037.
Since coming to power in 2016 after the death of longtime dictator Islam Karimov, Mirziyoyev has introduced a slew of political and economic reforms that eased some of the draconian policies of his predecessor, who made Uzbekistan into one of the region’s most repressive countries.
At the same time, Uzbekistan has remained strongly authoritarian with no significant opposition. All registered political parties are loyal to Mirziyoyev.
Like the leaders of other Central Asian nations that have close economic ties with Moscow, Mirziyoyev has engaged in a delicate balancing act after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, steering clear of backing what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” but not condemning it either.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)