[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Karimov re-elected Uzbek president
Karimov re-elected for seven-year term despite criticism from global monitors.
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2007 01:54 GMT
International monitors said the turnout was
"unusually high" [AFP]


Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan's president, has been declared winner of the country's election with more than 88 per cent of the vote, the nation's central election commission has said.
 
The three opposition candidates held about three per cent of the vote each, the commission said.
The election had been criticised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OECE) as "generally unfair".
 
The OSCE monitoring mission's chief, Walter Siegl, said because Karimov's challengers had endorsed him "the electorate was deprived of a genuine choice."
The OSCE also said the official turnout of more than 90 per cent was "unusually high".
 
However Mirzoulugbek Abdusalomov, the commission's head, defended the election, saying the high turnout represented a step towards democracy in the central Asian nation.
 
"Preliminary results showed that the election was conducted in accordance with the constitution," he was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.
 
"We received no complaints about any violations during the vote."
 
Losing patience
 
Independent media in the country has been shut down by Karimov and there are only a handful of opposition parties left.
 
Public criticism of Karimov, who has ruled for 18 years, is taboo.
 
But one Uzbek man, who asked not to be named, said of the leadership: "It's more like a monarchy. We've been ruled by the same person for almost 20 years.
 
"Some people say they are running out of patience."
 
Karimov's relations with the West have been strained since the US and Europe criticised him after Uzbek troops opened fire on a protest in the town of Andizhan in 2005, killing hundreds of people.
 
Karimov claimed that those who died were Islamist terrorists.
 
Uzbekistan, with 27 million people the most populous nation of Central Asia, continues to be viewed by Russia as under its sphere of interest.
 
The land-locked nation is rich in natural resources and is the world's second biggest exporter of cotton.
 
However, the country's economy is in ruins and most people live in poverty.
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
join our mailing list