Amu Region

Uzbekistan’s President re-elected for seven-year term in snap election

Uzbekistan’s Central Election Commission announced on Monday that President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been re-elected with 87.1% of the vote, according to preliminary results. Over 15 million voters participated in the Sunday elections.

Mirziyoyev, who has been leading the most populous nation in Central Asia since 2016, called for a snap election after amending the constitution through a referendum. This reset his term count and extended the presidential term from five to seven years.

Running against three relatively unknown candidates from the Ecological Party, the People’s Democratic Party, and the Adolat Social Democratic Party, Mirziyoyev was widely anticipated to secure a majority of the votes.

Previously serving as prime minister under his predecessor Islam Karimov, Mirziyoyev has presented himself as a reformer since assuming power, envisioning a “New Uzbekistan.”

He has implemented long-awaited reforms aimed at simplifying taxes, reducing obstacles for businesses, and enabling citizens to address bureaucratic issues through petitions on the presidential website.

Human rights organizations have acknowledged improvements under Mirziyoyev’s leadership. He abolished forced labor in the country’s cotton fields and released political prisoners who were jailed during Karimov’s lengthy rule.

However, the current government has faced criticism for undermining Uzbekistan’s nascent democracy. Similar to other leaders in post-Soviet states, such as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon, and Karimov himself, Mirziyoyev’s pursuit of constitutional amendments raises concerns among analysts, who suggest that his reformist image may not be entirely aligned with his actions.