Uzbek President Karimov wins third term

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Moscow, Dec 24 (UNI) Uzbek President Islam Karimov has won a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election.

According to preliminary results announced by Uzbekistan's Central Election Commission today, Karimov received 88.1 per cent of votes, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The second and third placed candidates received a mere 3.17 per cent and 2.94 per cent of the vote.

Voter turnout was 90.6 per cent with 13 million voters casting their ballot.

The Central Election Commission head said no complaints had been lodged or violations observed.

Groups of monitors from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have described the elections as free, open and transparent.

''The CIS group of monitors believe the Uzbek presidential polls correspond to the national election law and recognized standards for holding democratic elections,'' the group's head Sergei Lebedev said.

He said the Uzbek presidential poll indicated a further democratisation of the country's social life, and stability in the socio-economic sphere.

However, monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) criticised the Uzbek polls as being below democratic standards.

UNI

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