To keep their president in office until 2040, Uzbeks vote to amend the constitution 2023

The results of a referendum held in Uzbekistan on Sunday showed an overwhelming majority of voters in favor of amending the country’s constitution in a way that would allow the country’s president to remain in office until 2040. The results were announced on Monday by the country’s central elections commission.

According to the commission, more than ninety percent of those who participated in the election on Sunday voted in favor of the initiative, which was strongly supported by the administration. According to what it reported, participation was high (almost 85%) among eligible voters.

The current restriction of two terms in office for the president will remain in place despite the amendment that will increase the term of office from five to seven years. In spite of the fact that he is now serving his second term as president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev would be eligible to run for reelection not once, but twice more following the conclusion of his current term in 2026.

Two other improvements include the removal of the death penalty and enhanced legal rights for everyone, even criminals.

Uzbekistan was one of the most authoritarian countries in the area when Islam Karimov, Mirziyoyev’s immediate predecessor, was in power. Mirziyoyev, who gained control of Uzbekistan after Karimov passed away in 2016, has been touting the revisions to the constitution as evidence that the country will prioritize individual liberties and human rights.

The referendum had been scheduled to take place in the previous year, but it was postponed in the wake of violent upheaval in the Karakalpakstan area after it was stated that the changes would include revoking Karakalpakstan’s right to vote on whether or not to split from the rest of the country.

Residents of the poor and environmentally challenged republic that takes up a third of Uzbekistan’s territory but only has around 5% of the country’s 36 million people were outraged by the plan, despite the fact that the likelihood of independence is exceedingly small. At least 18 people were killed in skirmishes between police and protesters that broke out in Nukus, the capital city of Karakalpakstan.

The Karakalpakstan secession right has been maintained in the new package.

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