10 May 2023 11:34

Uzbekistan starts preparing for early presidential election

TASHKENT. May 10 (Interfax) - The Uzbek Central Elections Commission (CEC) adopted a resolution on Wednesday to begin preparations for an early presidential election set for July 9, the CEC press service said in a statement.

"The CEC resolution designated May 10 as the first day of the campaign for an early presidential election in the Republic of Uzbekistan," the statement said.

According to the press service, the CEC also approved the campaign schedule. "Under the schedule, presidential candidates will be nominated between May 17 and June 1," the statement said.

Uzbek election laws vest political parties registered at least four months before the campaign announcement with the right to nominate presidential candidates. There are five parties in Uzbekistan at present, namely, the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party, and the Ecological Party.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at a meeting with parliament speakers and heads of political parties, the judiciary and the executive authorities on May 8 that he had signed an executive order on the early presidential election.

He explained why he deemed the early elections to be necessary and refused to serve the remaining three and a half years of his presidential office.

"Why am I refusing to serve the remaining three and a half years of my presidential office? You can see that, consistent with our fundamental law, all power branches will be reformed, in the first place, and their relations and balance will be profoundly altered," Mirziyoyev said.

The updated constitution "sets new, urgent political, social and economic tasks for the president, the parliament and the government," he said.

The presidential election due on July 9 would be the first presidential election after the endorsement of constitutional amendments, which extend the presidential term of office from five to seven years. The constitutional law allows incumbent President Mirziyoyev, who is serving his second term, to run for reelection.

Mirziyoyev was elected president of Uzbekistan at early elections in December 2016, after the death of first President Islam Karimov, who was in office since 1989. Mirziyoyev was reelected with 80.12% of the vote in October 2021.