The president of Uzbekistan has, as expected, secured a thundering electoral triumph against an array of no-name rivals.
The preliminary vote tally published on July 10 showed that Shavkat Mirziyoyev had secured 87 percent of the ballots cast and that almost 80 percent of voters turned out.
Those figures indicate that at least 13.6 million people voted for Mirziyoyev, 65, to serve for at least another seven years. Under rule changes effected through a choreographed constitutional referendum earlier this year, he will be eligible to stand for another term once this one is over.
The runner-up in the four-person competition was Robakhon Makhmudova, the only woman in the race, who got around 4.4 percent of the votes cast.
“The elections were held according to international norms and standards in conformity with national electoral legislation and in full compliance with the democratic principles of openness, transparency, freedom and fairness,” Central Election Commission chief Zainiddin Nizamkhojayev said as he announced the results.
In reality, however, few were enthused by the proceedings of what was clearly a foregone conclusion from the moment that Mirziyoyev announced, on May 8, that a snap election was to take place. Even the mission from the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which traditionally strives to maintain a bland stance on its election-monitoring duties, struggled to disguise its boredom,
“The 9 July early presidential election was technically well-prepared but took place in a political environment lacking genuine competition,” read the opening line of ODIHR’s post-vote report. “The low-key campaign lacked meaningful engagement with voters and candidates refrained from presenting alternative political views.”