- 5 candidates, including incumbent Shavkat Mirziyoyev, vie for presidential post in Central Asian country.
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AA) – Uzbekistan is headed to the polls on Sunday to choose its president for the next five years, with incumbent Shavkat Mirziyoyev widely expected to best four rivals to win a second term.
Following the 2016 death of Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s first president –who ruled the Central Asian country for 27 years – this is the first presidential election since that December. After getting 88.61% of the votes against his three opponents, Mirziyoyev took office the same month.
On Sunday, over 21.26 million registered voters will cast their votes at 10,760 polling places which opened at 8 a.m. local time and will close at 8 p.m. (0300-1500GMT).
For the election to be considered valid under the law, turnout must exceed 33%.
For any candidate to win the election, he must get more than half of the votes, or else the top two candidates will go to a second round.
Nearly 1,000 international observers from over 50 states are following the election, as well as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Turkic Council, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
More than 1,700 local and foreign journalists will follow the polls.
Under the law, citizens of the country fluent in Uzbek language who are over 35 and have lived in the country continuously for the last decade can seek the presidency.