Uzbekistan’s leader poised for landslide victory in presidential election

TASHKENT: Voters thronged the polling stations in across Uzbekistan as the country goes to Central Asian state’s presidential elections here on Sunday.

Elabourate measures were taken to ensure free, fair and transparent elections as Election Commission of Uzbekistan holds key polls to decide the future leader of the republic. President of Uzbekistan, Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev lead the presidential race as no opponent poses a formidable challenge to him but the country faces major challenges amid global recession.

Mirziyoyev plans to take forward his reform agenda as the country takes path of economic stability and transformation. In the federal capital itself, people came in large numbers to cast their votes with hopes that the country would take a leapfrog into transformation and industrial development.

While around 2000 polling stations were set up in across the capital city, hustle and bustle was the norm at most of the polling stations. By mid-day, 71 percent voters had cast their votes at 362nd polling station set up at State Conservatory while at 105th, 31 percent votes had been polled by 11am.

A facilitation center with all modern facilities for journalists and experts was set up by Election Commission of Uzbekistan at the Palace of Symposiums. The Election Commission officials made successive briefings throughout the day to ensure provision of maximum information to the election observers.

Murat, a voter, told Pakistan Today that the election commission had made elabourate arrangements and the voters were free to exercise their right to elect their future leader.

“Yes, the measures taken by the election commission are good and we are at ease to caste our vote. While it is Sunday, we got up bit late and now came to the polling station. In the afternoon, we can easily go to market to but our groceries,” he said.

Asked whether she was happy with the arrangements made at the polling stations, a woman named Saba said that officials were eagerly facilitating the voters and there were no issues for them.

A polling agent for a presidential candidate told that the election commission was fair towards all the polling agents and equal treatment was being given to the polling agents of all the candidates.

“They have even provided food for all the polling agents. We hope for a transparent and fair election today,” he added.

Road infrastructure in federal capital was excellent and Tashkent is ready to brace for tourists and visitors – reflecting hard work by the Committee for Roads.

A team of dedicated officials was fully facilitating the around 150 journalists and 500 experts from all across the world who observed the electoral process.

Especially the efforts made by Mr Hushmurod and his team of volunteers were matchless who did an excellent job and they provided best possible facilities to the journalists. Among the volunteers, Mr Javohir O’skanov stood out for his dedication and facilitation, though all the volunteers did their best to help the guests from various countries.

Back in Pakistan, Uzbekistan Ambassador Mr Oybek Usmanov and his team led by Mr Sarvar Abdirakhimov were making sure that the observers are taken good care of in Uzbekistan.

Mirziyoyev has been credited for launching what he calls a “New Uzbekistan”, ending a decades-old decaying system. He came to power in 2016 after the death of his predecessor Mr Islam Karimov, who ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years.

Uzbekistan held a national referendum two months back in which a new set of reforms was approved by the people of Uzbekistan. After the referendum, the incumbent President decided to seek a fresh mandate from people, therefore he called early Presidential elections despite the fact that Mirziyoyev had to serve another five years. The last presidential election was held in October 2021.

Mirziyoyev looks to implement the new reforms by taking people of Uzbekistan on board that is why he decided to seek a fresh mandate so that he could purse the reform process vigorously.

The new leader presided over an unprecedented boom in foreign tourism in the country that borders Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and counts China and Russia among its partners. Voting across the landlocked country of around 36 million people began at 8:00 am local time and continued unstopped till 8pm.

Counting of votes would commence once the voting ends and results are likely to be announced within next 24 hours.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]


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