Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan on 24 October 2021. This will be sixth presidential election held in the independent republic.
The previous presidential election was held in 2016, following the death of incumbent President Islam Karimov on 2 September of that year. The Constitution mandated that the election be held within three months of Karimov’s death. Acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev won the elections with 90% of the vote to which were described by international observers and media as a sham with a “lack of a genuine choice” among the presidential candidates. The last time a Uzbek president has faced a serious challenger in an election was in 1991, the year of the country’s independence.
Incumbent authoritarian president Mirziyoyev is widely expected to win (officially) by a large margin. Two prominent opposition figures have declared their intention to run against Mirziyoyev, but the authorities have repeatedly refused registration of the candidate’s parties and one of these candidates, celebrity singer Jahongir Otajonov, has since withdrawn from running due to apparent political intimidation.
Sources and further reading:
Uzbekistan: Social media personality reportedly arrested for insulting president
The Age of Zombie Democracies