- Title: Uzbekistan PM wins presidential election
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (DECEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHEERING, WAVING UZBEKISTAN FLAGS
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 15:36
- Keywords: Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev election president vote
- Location: TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN
- City: TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN
- Country: Uzbekistan
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BLWUO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Shavkat Mirziyoyev, long-serving prime minister of Uzbekistan, has become its second president, winning 88.61 percent of the vote in an election on Sunday criticised by Western observers.
"This proves that we are on the right path outlined by the late president (Islam) Karimov," Mirziyoyev told thousands of supporters at a rally.
Mirziyoyev, 59, was prime minister from 2003 under Karimov, who died of a stroke in September having run Central Asia's most populous nation with an iron fist for 27 years.
He is expected to step down as prime minister but it is unclear when, as there is no precedent for such a transition in the former Soviet republic, which became an independent state in 1991.
The landslide victory by Mirziyoyev had been widely expected. He swiftly emerged as the likely successor to Karimov and was appointed interim president when the senate speaker, given the role by constitution, gave it up in Mirziyoyev's favour.
Diplomatic and business sources say Mirziyoyev secured support for his presidential bid from Uzbekistan's powerful informal clans by agreeing to share power with two other political heavyweights, Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov and security chief Rustam Inoyatov.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for the first time deployed a full-scale election observation mission in Uzbekistan. It criticised the vote on Monday as falling well short of democratic norms and said it underlined the need for "comprehensive reforms".
It said in a preliminary statement authorities had failed to provide the conditions for a genuinely free and transparent election process.
Diplomats say Mirziyoyev is expected to move Uzbekistan closer to Russia, its Soviet-era overlord. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first foreign leader to publicly congratulate him on the victory.
Both sides "confirmed their commitment to further strengthening of Russian-Uzbek relations of alliance and strategic partnership" in a phone call, the Kremlin said in a statement, with Putin inviting Mirziyoyev to visit.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.