30 May 2023 18:16

Uzbek president, nominated for reelection, pledges to double GDP

TASHKENT. May 30 (Interfax) - A congress of the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople - Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan has confirmed the nomination of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for the early presidential election due on July 9, the party's press service said on Tuesday.

"Mirziyoyev addressed the congress and presented his election program. At the end of the debate, which followed his speech, the congress delegates unanimously nominated Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev for president in the July 9 election," the press service told Interfax.

Mirziyoyev told the congress he planned to double Uzbekistan's GDP to $160 billion, from $80.4 billion recorded at the end of 2022.

"The country's gross domestic product (GDP) will be doubled to $160 billion [Uzbekistan's GDP grew 5.7% in 2022 to 888.34 trillion soms, or about $80.4 billion]. GDP per capita will grow from the current $2,200 to $4,000," the local media quoted Mirziyoyev as saying.

Large-scale projects totaling $115 billion are being launched together with foreign partners, Mirziyoyev said. As a result, Uzbekistan will increase copper production 3.5 times to 500,000 tonnes, gold production 1.5 times to 155 tonnes, silver production three times (to 500 tonnes) and uranium production three times (to 10,000 tonnes) by 2030. Mirziyoyev plans to increase annual car production to one million units, including 300,000 electric vehicles, he said.

Mirziyoyev highlighted social affairs, and said that the demand for preschool education would be met 100% and new schools would be built for 2.5 million students by 2030. A total of $1 billion will be invested in science and innovation within the next seven years. Annual healthcare budgets will grow to $6 billion.

Mirziyoyev, born in 1957, is a graduate of the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers. He served as the head of administration in the Mirzo-Ulugbek district of Tashkent and the Jizzakh and Samarkand regions, and was Uzbek prime minister between 2003 and 2016. Mirziyoyev was elected president in December 2016 after the death of Uzbekistan's first president, Islam Karimov, in September 2016. He was reelected in October 2021.

The presidential election due on July 9 will be the first to take place following the endorsement of constitutional amendments, which extend the presidential term of office from five to seven years. The constitutional law allows the incumbent head of state, Mirziyoyev, who is serving his second term as president, to run for reelection.

Founded in 2003, the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan leads the largest faction in the national parliament (52 seats). The party will soon submit signed lists supporting its candidate to the Uzbek Central Elections Commission.

The Uzbek Central Elections Commission announced the beginning of the presidential campaign on May 10. The nomination of candidates for the early presidential election of July 9, 2023, began on May 17 and will end on June 1. The registration of candidates will be completed on June 6.

All five parties registered in Uzbekistan have been authorized to participate in the early presidential election.

Earlier, the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan nominated its leader Ulugbek Inoyatov for president at a party congress. The Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan has nominated Robakhon Makhmudov, first deputy chairman of the Uzbek Supreme Court. The Ecological Party has nominated its leader Abdushukur Khamzayev. The National Revival Democratic Party, which has nominated Mirziyoyev for president together with the Liberal Democratic Party, will hold its congress in the near future.