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Uzbek president calls for snap elections to strengthen his position

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said on Monday he was calling a snap presidential election to give himself a new mandate to help deal with “sharp and complex processes” going on in the world, but he did not give a date.

Uzbek voters approved a package of constitutional amendments in a referendum on April 30 that allows Mirziyoyev to run for two more terms and extends each term to seven years from five.

President of #Uzbekistan Shavkat #Mirziyoyev announced early presidential elections.

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) May 8, 2023

Mirziyoyev, 65, said that he felt he needed a fresh mandate to carry out further reforms in the Central Asian nation, despite having served less than two years of his current term.

“In the current situation where sharp and complex processes are prevailing in the world and in our region, finding the right and effective path of development and its implementation is becoming the most acute and urgent issue,” he said.

The Uzbek president did not say when the vote would be held, but the country’s law requires at least two months’ notice.

There are no big opposition figures in the country of 35 million who could compete with Mirziyoyev, praised both at home and abroad for liberalizing the former Soviet republic and opening up its economy to foreign trade and investment.

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