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World Uzbekistan: Full Presidential Election Reforms

15:00  24 october  2021
15:00  24 october  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Ouzbékistan: élection présidentielle en plein tarissement des réformes © AFP

Uzbekistan voted Sunday in a presidential election that was to offer an easy victory to the outgoing leader Chavkat Mirzioïev whose liberal reforms during his first five-year fifth seems threatened by A return of authoritarian practices.

aged 64, Mr. Mirzioïev, who runs the most populated country of Central since 2016, is hailed for abolishing forced labor, open the economy and released from opponents tortured by its ruthless predecessor, Islam Karimov .

But he returned more recently with habits of the past, repressing several critical votes before the ballot. His detractors also accuse him of having rejected any real opposition of the ballot.

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Mr Mirzioïev confronts four candidates widely considered puppets and who abstained from any criticism towards him during the campaign.

Uzbek voters started voting at 03:00 GMT and could go to the polls up to 15:00 GMT. But in Tashkent, the capital, many voters were addressing this ballot without great enthusiasm.

"I do not like any of the proposed choices," said AFP Georgy, a 45-year-old man who required anonymity. He added that he would vote "against them all, including him," an allusion to Mr. Mirzioiev.

Zera, a 55-year-old woman who was queuing in a polling station, said she supported the outgoing president, while expressing her concern about the situation in Afghanistan , neighboring countries where the Taliban are revenue in power.

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  Mirziyoyev: Uzbek reformer with autocratic tendencies Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is credited with leading Central Asia's most populous country out of isolation, but his appetite for change may be waning now that he has consolidated power. The 64-year-old is expected to sail past four token candidates on Sunday for a second five-year term in the ex-Soviet country whose neighbourhood includes a rising China, resurgent Russia and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Mirziyoyev's reforms --The 64-year-old is expected to sail past four token candidates on Sunday for a second five-year term in the ex-Soviet country whose neighbourhood includes a rising China, resurgent Russia and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

"This country worries me a lot since they (the Taliban) took power. The whole world made them war and nothing good is going out. Can we have good relations? I am not Sure, "she said.

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This landlocked country, which has about 34 million inhabitants, was once a major step on the ancient road of silk, a situation that has made the fortune of cities like Samarcande and Bukhara.

Five years after Karimov's death, Uzbekistan has undoubtedly looked air.

Mr. Mirzioïev has put an end to forced labor in cotton fields, including thousands of children, a globally hailed measure.

But the last two years of its first term have been marked by the growing repression of critical bloggers.

Uzbekistan holds polls with reformist strongman a shoo-in

  Uzbekistan holds polls with reformist strongman a shoo-in Central Asian Uzbekistan stages a presidential election on Sunday, with leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev facing no real opposition but plenty of challenges as he bids to reform the ex-Soviet country and still maintain its authoritarian foundations. Mirziyoyev has been credited for launching what he calls a "New Uzbekistan", ending a decades-old system of forced labour and introducing limited media freedom. He came to power in 2016 after the death of his mentor, dictator Islam Karimov, who ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years.

A university perceived as one of his rare genuine opponents, Khidirnazar Alkoulov, was forbidden to appear in the presidential election.

The pandemic has also stopped strong economic growth, plunging tourism into the abyss and fueling popular discontent. Unemployment and the cost of living have risen sharply.

ransim, demonstrations even broke last year in reaction to energy shortages.

increasing poverty

Before polling, Uzbeks interviewed by AFP in a Tashkent market therefore seemed more concerned about growing poverty than by the protection of freedom of expression.

"We are waiting for changes like salary increases. They are weak and not always paid," said AFP Orazali Ergachev, a 20-year-old student meeting in the center of Tashkent before polling.

for Temour Oumarov, a specialist in Central Asia at the Carnegie de Moscow Center, Mr. Mirzioïev is facing a delicate equation: continue to reform without affecting the authoritative system inherited from Karimov and whose elite benefits.

"Corruption still exists at the top of the government, but the power firm eyes," he says. But, "in parallel, society is more dynamic than before and will not be happy if the government continues with the reforms."

Last month, President Mirzioïev, which brought her country from Moscow and Beijing, argued that the definition of democracy in Uzbekistan was not the same as in other countries. And he warned against instability.

24/10/2021 09:20:14 - Tashkent (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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