Islam Karimov sworn in as Uzbek president

Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, head of the Central Electoral Commission of Uzbekistan, handed a presidential certificate to Karimov. He said that Karimov had got 88.1 per cent of votes at the elections, held on December 23, 2007, and that the turnout had been 90.6 per cent, Itar-Tass reported.

Islam Karimov has been holding the top post in Uzbekistan since 1989, when he became first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan. He was elected the leader of Uzbekistan at a session of the Uzbek Supreme Soviet in March 1990. In December 1991 he was elected president of the independent Uzbekistan. A referendum was held in 1995, as a result of which Karimov’s presidential powers were extended for five years.

A referendum on the Constitution was held in Uzbekistan in 2002, as a result of which the term in office of a president was extended from five to seven years. This permitted Karimov to hold his post until 2007. The Central Electoral Commission registered Karimov as a presidential candidate for the third time, explaining it by the fact that, under a new version of the Constitution adopted in January 2002, Karimov would be elected for a period of seven years for the first time.

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