Uzbekistan president consolidate power in parliamentary elections

Political parties close to authoritarian President Islam Karimov consolidated their power in parliamentary elections held in Uzbekistan, the Interfax agency reported Monday. The electoral commission in the capital Tashkent said turnout in Sunday’s poll was close to 88 per cent, or 15.1 million voters. All four major parties backed the president in their race for the 135- seat lower house.

Election observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) declared that the elections were neither free nor fair.

Karimov allows no opposition parties which do not back his rule, and the country has no free media.

In December, the OSCE complained that Tashkent had rejected reforms and violating human rights.

Karimov, 71, won re-election as president in 2007 for another seven-year term. He has been president since 1989.

Uzbekistan hosts the Termez airbase, used by western powers for operations in Afghanistan.

In 2005 the European Union lifted an arms embargo against the country.


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