Pro-reform President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who took power in late 2016, is expected to secure a second term.

Members of a local election commission empty a ballot box to count votes in Uzbekistan's presidential election at a polling station in Tashkent on October 24, 2021.
Members of a local election commission empty a ballot box to count votes in Uzbekistan's presidential election at a polling station in Tashkent on October 24, 2021. (AFP)

Uzbekistan has voted in a presidential election in which incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev faces no genuine opposition and is almost certain to win a second term.

Voting ended in the elections with 80.8 percent turnout, authorities said on Sunday.

Uzbekistan held the polls to choose a president for the next five years, with incumbent Shavkat Mirziyoyev widely expected to win a second term.

Five candidates are vying for the presidential office.

Over 16.36 million registered voters cast their votes at 10,760 polling stations from at 0300-1500 GMT (8 AM to 8 PM local), Zayniddin Nizamhocayev, chairman of the Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan, told reporters.

To win the election, a candidate must get more than half of the votes, else the top two contenders will go to a second round.

Reform campaign

Mirziyoyev's predicted victory on Sunday will allow him to deepen his largely successful reform campaign and likely lead to Uzbekistan opening up further to foreign trade and investment - while retaining a highly centralised political system.

Mirziyoyev has pledged to cut poverty through rapid economic growth and gradually decentralise decision-making by devolving some powers to district councils.

Due to Covid-19 concerns, voters are required to wear masks and observe social distancing at polling stations staffed with medical workers.

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Source: Reuters