Uzbekistan to hold presidential vote in March

Uzbekistan said on Friday that the next presidential elections in the tightly controlled Central Asian state would take place in March next year.

Tashkent: Uzbekistan said on Friday that the next presidential elections in the tightly controlled Central Asian state would take place in March next year.

President Islam Karimov, 76, who has ruled the country of 30 million since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has not publicly named a successor.

He indicated in May that he wants to stay on in his role.

Karimov won a new seven-year term in December 2007.

Central Election Commission chief Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov told reporters on Friday that the next presidential vote would be held on March 29, 2015 and that campaigning had begun on Friday.

In 2012, the country`s parliament amended the constitution to cut the presidential term to five from seven years.

Earlier this month Uzbeks voted in parliamentary elections where all four competing parties supported Karimov.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the vote was "competently administered but lacked genuine electoral competition and debate".

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