Polling stations open in Uzbekistan for presidential elections

Passport and form in the hands of a voter during the presidential elections in Uzbekistan - 1920, 24.10.2021

TASHKENT, Oct 24 ─ Polling stations opened on Sunday to vote in the presidential elections in Uzbekistan. The sections will work from 08.00 local time (06.00 Moscow time) to 20.00 (18.00 Moscow time).
All five political parties officially operating in the country registered candidates.
According to experts, the main candidate for victory in the elections remains the current president, 64-year-old Shavkat Mirziyoyev, nominated by the largest Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP). He advocates expanding cooperation with the main partners of Uzbekistan: Russia, China, the United States and the countries of Central Asia, as well as integration with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Two more candidates – the chairman of the Ecological Party, 46-year-old Narzullo Oblomuradov and the deputy chairman of Uzbekistan’s oldest People’s Democratic Party (PDPU), 60-year-old Maksuda Varisova – call for maintaining and developing allied ties and strategic relations with Russia. The leader of “Adolat” (“Justice”) 62-year-old Bahrom Abdukhalimov focused on the problems of domestic policy: reforms in the field of education and housing problems of the population.
The candidate from the Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party, its chairman, 46-year-old Alisher Kadyrov, is known for his criticism of Uzbekistan’s cooperation with the EAEU, as well as for the protection of national traditions in society. The leader of the national democrats, in particular, proposes to establish administrative responsibility for disrespect for national customs and values.
According to the updated data of the CEC of Uzbekistan, 19.86 million people are included in the voter list, 14 district election commissions have been formed, 10,760 polling stations have been created. More than 420 thousand citizens who are unable to stay at their place of residence on election day were able to vote early from October 14 to 20. To win the election, a candidate needs to gain more than 50% of the vote. The voter turnout threshold should be 33%.
Citizens will be able to vote abroad: 55 stationary polling stations and 316 mobile stations will be opened in 49 countries. In Russia, the sections, in particular, are organized at the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow and consulates general in St. Petersburg, Kazan, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don and Novosibirsk. In addition, mobile voting stations will be located in places of compact residence and enterprises where Uzbek people work.
The elections will be monitored by more than 64.5 thousand local observers and 970 international observers from almost 50 countries ─ from various organizations, including the CIS, OSCE, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Organization of Electoral Bodies. Almost 1.7 thousand journalists will cover the elections, including 233 representatives of foreign media. Security in the elections will be ensured by employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Guard and the State Security Service of Uzbekistan. Preliminary voting results may be known as early as Monday morning.

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