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Uzbekistan holds first Parliamentary elections under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev

ANI | Updated: Dec 22, 2019 11:50 IST

Tashkent [Uzbekistan], Dec 22 (ANI): Voting begins in Uzbekistan for parliamentary elections amid economic reforms in the country initiated by current President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
It is the first parliamentary election under Mirziyoyev's rule. According to Al Jazeera, after Mirziyoyev took reins of the country in 2016, there are significant improvements in freedom of media and speech as well as in relations with the outside world were made. Mirziyoyev has also released more than 50 political prisoners. Mirziyoyev becomes president following the death of President Islam Karimov.
Five parties are contesting for the 150 seats in the Oliy Majlis after a three-month election campaign.
The Central Election Commission may announce preliminary results on Monday.
The election campaign has seen, for the first time, freer media landscape with journalists and bloggers actively monitoring the process.
Live-streamed debates between party candidates showed a formerly unknown side of Uzbekistan's politics. Monitors from the United Nations and the OSCE have also closely observed the election process.
Despite all the changes, it is still difficult to make a new party in the country. The requirement to gather 20,000 signatures in order to create a party has proven to be impossible to overcome, as no new party has been registered in the country since 2003 and the five existing parties have been part of the system. (ANI)

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