Shavkat Mirziyoyev becomes next Uzbekistan President

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [UK], Dec. 5 (ANI): Interim leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Monday won the election to become the new President of Uzbekistan and would succeed late Islam Karimov. The central election commission said Mirziyoyev secured 88.6 percent of Sunday's vote, according to a preliminary count, while western monitors reported signs of fraud, reports the Guardian. An election monitor, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), said that "while the election administration took measures to enhance the transparency of its work and the proper conduct of the election", the limits on fundamental freedoms led to a campaign "devoid of genuine competition". ODIHR observers also said that the national "media covered the election in a highly restrictive and controlled environment, and the state-defined narrative did not provide voters the opportunity to hear alternative viewpoints." None of the six previous post-Soviet elections observed in Uzbekistan by ODHIR monitors were deemed democratic and fair. Mirziyoyev's victory had been widely expected since he took over as interim leader of the country in early September, following the death of the authoritarian Karimov. In a speech on his first day as acting president, he said Uzbekistan would continue the policy of not joining any international military alliances and not hosting any foreign military bases, along with not stationing its troops abroad. Under Karimov, the predominantly Muslim country's staunchly secular government appeared eager to suppress any signs of what it saw as Islamic militancy, and policies in that area will be watched for any evidence of a shift. Karimov, who became Uzbekistan's Communist party chief in 1989 and ruled as President after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, tolerated little dissent and eliminated almost all political opposition. (ANI)