Status: 25.10.2021 3:15 p.m.
As expected, the Uzbek head of state Mirsiyoyev was re-elected with a clear majority in the presidential election. There were no real opponents. Observers complained about voting irregularities.
Uzbekistan’s head of state Shawkat Mirsiyoyev has won the presidential election in the Central Asian country. According to preliminary results, he received 80.1 percent of the vote, as the electoral commission announced. That was – unexpectedly for many in the country – less than five years ago, when it was still awarded 88.6 percent. The turnout was given as 80.8 percent.
Election campaign without criticism of the president
Mirsiyoyev’s re-election was considered certain, there were no real opposition candidates. The other four candidates were widely considered to be government controlled. They were reluctant to criticize the president during the election campaign.
International observers complained about the lack of “real competition”. The joint delegation of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Parliament also found “significant irregularities”. According to this, “a large number of voters” could cast their vote “without presenting any identification documents”.
Praise and criticism for Mirsiyoyev’s policy
Mirsiyoyev took over the presidency in 2016 after the death of his authoritarian ruling predecessor Islam Karimov and opened Uzbekistan after years of isolation and economic stagnation.
The 64-year-old received international acclaim for his fight against forced labor and the release of political prisoners. Before the corona pandemic, there was an unprecedented tourism boom in Uzbekistan.
Putin congratulated even before the election result
However, human rights organizations complain of growing pressure on independent media and bloggers. The president’s well-known critic, Khidirnasar Allakulov, was not allowed to vote. An economic crisis triggered by the corona pandemic also contributes to dissatisfaction among the population.
The most populous of the former Central Asian Soviet republics – Uzbekistan has around 35 million inhabitants – maintains close ties with China and Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin had already congratulated Mirsiyoyev on his “convincing victory” before the election results were announced.