Uzbekistan’s central elections fee says that Uzbeks have given overwhelming approval in a referendum to constitutional adjustments that promise human rights reforms however that additionally would permit the nation’s president to remain in workplace till 2040
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan — Uzbeks gave overwhelming approval in a referendum to constitutional adjustments that promise human rights reforms however that additionally would permit the nation’s president to remain in workplace till 2040, the nation’s central elections fee stated Monday.
Greater than 90% of those that forged ballots Sunday voted for the measure, which was closely promoted by the federal government, in response to the fee. Practically 85% of eligible voters took half, it stated.
The adjustments embrace lengthening the presidential time period from 5 to seven years, whereas retaining the present two-term restrict. Though President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is in his second time period, the change in time period size would permit him to run twice extra after his present tenure ends in 2026.
Different adjustments embrace abolishing capital punishment and boosting authorized protections for residents, together with these accused of crimes.
Underneath Mirziyoyev’s predecessor, Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan was one of many area’s most repressive international locations. Mirziyoyev, who took over after Karimov died in 2016, touts the constitutional adjustments as exhibiting that Uzbekistan will make freedoms and human rights paramount.
The referendum initially was deliberate for final yr, however was postpone within the wake of lethal unrest within the Karakalpakstan area when it was introduced that the adjustments would come with rescinding Karakalpakstan’s proper to vote on whether or not to secede.
Though the chance of secession could be very small, that proposal angered residents of the poor and environmentally beleaguered republic that makes up a 3rd of Uzbekistan’s territory however has solely about 5% of the nation’s 36 million individuals. Mass unrest broke out within the Karakalpak capital, Nukus; no less than 18 individuals died in clashes with police.
The brand new package deal retains the Karakalpakstan secession proper.