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President Mirziyoyev was widely re-elected as President of Uzbekistan

President Mirziyoyev was widely re-elected as President of Uzbekistan

Published on Monday, July 10, 2023 at 09:14

Uzbekistan’s incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev won re-election by a wide margin after presidential elections that began on Sunday, securing a seven-year term in power since 2016 in Central Asia’s most populous country.

Mr. Mirziyoyev received 87.05% of the vote, while turnout was close to 80%.

Elected in 2016 with 88.61% of the vote and then re-elected in 2021 with 80.12% of the vote, in elections criticized by international observers for being uncompetitive, he will preside over the country’s destiny with this new mandate until 2030. at least

According to the Election Commission, his three opponents, who are not known to the general public, won between 3% and 4%, while only five political parties are recognized in Uzbekistan, and all of them are more or less loyal to the leader.

Mr. Mirziyoyev called the presidential election after an April 30 constitutional referendum, which was approved by more than 90% of the population, validating a five- to seven-year term and authorizing him for two additional terms.

The moves pave the way for the Uzbek leader, who was prime minister between 2003 and 2016 under his predecessor Islam Karimov, to theoretically remain in power until 2037.

– Reform promises –

An engineer by training, Savgat Mirziov presents himself as a reformer capable of ushering in the era of a “new Uzbekistan,” where “man is the highest value,” is the mantra displayed everywhere throughout the country.

Internationally, Mr. Mirziyoyev wants to continue his policy of openness to break Uzbekistan’s isolationism during the presidency of Islam Karimov to attract foreign investment and tourists.

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Uzbekistan, a gas-rich former Soviet republic, occupies a strategic position, the only country bordering all other states in the region, including Afghanistan.

The outcome of the election was little in doubt and the presidential campaign was described by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as “low-key” and “reflecting a lack of opposition to the incumbent president”.

Mr. Mirziyoyev has set a goal to significantly double GDP, reaching $160 billion, and promised to create more places for students in a young country with strong population growth.

Internet access and drinking water are provided to all Uzbeks, half of whom live in rural areas. Because this doubly landlocked country, mostly covered in sand, is a leader in the fight against global warming.

He also pledged to support the families of hundreds of thousands of Uzbek immigrants, most of whom work in Russia and represent 11.6% of GDP in 2021.