Home World Shavkat Mirzioev widely re-elected president in Uzbekistan

Shavkat Mirzioev widely re-elected president in Uzbekistan

Elected for the first time in 2016, when he had been Prime Minister since 2003, Shavkat Mirzioev could remain at the head of Uzbekistan until… 2037. The outgoing president was largely re-elected after the presidential election early Sunday, securing a seven-year term in Central Asia’s most populous country. According to preliminary results transmitted on Monday by the Electoral Commission at a press conference in the capital Tashkent, he obtained 87.05% of the vote, while participation was close to 80%.

His three opponents, unknown to the general public, won between 3% and 4%, according to the Electoral Commission, while only five political parties are authorized in Uzbekistan and they are all more or less loyal to the leader. A landslide victory that arouses different reactions internationally: Vladimir Putin hailed a “convincing victory” showing “broad popular support”, while Xi Jinping congratulated the Uzbek president on the phone.

No opposition

On the other hand, the election lacked “genuine political competition”, international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Monday. In a statement, the OSCE praised a “technically well-prepared” election and recent legal reforms, but regretted “fundamental freedoms” still “restricted”, a “minimalist” electoral campaign and a “significant number of procedural irregularities observed on election day in this Central Asian country.

Elected in 2016 with 88.61% of the vote, then re-elected with 80.12% in 2021, Chavkat Mirzioev had called this presidential election after the constitutional referendum of April 30, adopted by more than 90%, which validates the passage from the five-year term to the seven-year term. and authorizes him to stand for two additional terms. Measures which pave the way for the theoretical maintenance in power until 2037 of the Uzbek leader, who had been the Prime Minister of his predecessor, Islam Karimov, between 2003 and 2016.

An ambitious “new Uzbekistan”

Trained as an engineer, Chavkat Mirzioev presents himself as a reformer capable of establishing the era of “New Uzbekistan”, where “the human being is the supreme value”, a mantra displayed everywhere across the country. He also promised internet access and drinking water for all Uzbeks, half of whom live in the countryside, and set himself the goal of doubling GDP with a focus on students, in a country to strong population growth.

Internationally, he intends to pursue his policy of openness to break with the isolation of Uzbekistan during the presidency of Islam Karimov, in order to attract foreign investment and tourists. Uzbekistan, a gas-rich former Soviet republic, occupies a strategic position, being the only country bordering all the other states in the region, including Afghanistan.

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