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Uzbekistan Confirms December Elections

Presidential elections in Uzbekistan will take place on Dec. 4, the country's government has confirmed.

Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev was named as acting president on Thursday, following the death of the country's long-serving leader Islam Karimov.

Uzbekistan last held presidential elections in March 2015. Karimov faced three other candidates, all of whom were from pro-government parties.

Election monitors for the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) reported that the elections did not show “genuine competition” and that the “rigidly constrained media did not provide political debate.”

Karimov, the country’s authoritarian ruler of 27 years, died of a brain hemorrhage last week at the age of 78. He was buried in his home town of Samarkand on Saturday, but left no obvious successor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Samarkand Monday, laying flowers at Karimov’s grave and personally giving his condolences to the former president’s widow and daughter.

Mirziyoyev accompanied Putin during his visit, suggesting to many that he was likely to succeed Karimov.  

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