Uzbekistan’s acting president Shavkat Mirziyoyev won the presidential election with 88,61% of votes. The international analytical center “Rethinking Russia” asked Andrey Kazantsev, Director at the MGIMO University Analytical Center, to comment on the results and probable consequences of the election.
“The result of the Uzbekistan’s election can be described as predictable and Mirziyoyev’s victory – as convincing; it can even be called a “Karimov-style” victory. The liberalization, announced in Uzbekistan, has not influenced this sphere. At the same time the reforms that Mirziyoyev promised to introduce during his electoral campaign are being put into practice step-by-step. First of all, this concerns the most sensitive Uzbekistan’s economic sphere: the country faces economic stagnation and severe difficulties with salary payments and social protection of citizens.
As for foreign policy, here also the course may be softened. It is likely to concern the relations with Russia, as well as with other states with which Uzbekistan has always has problems– Tajikistan and Kirghizia. Kazakhstan that wants Uzbekistan to move towards Central Asian integration is, to some extent, hopeful of Mirziyoyev. However, it seems like it is too early to talk about this and Uzbekistan will confine itself to its traditional, comfortable format of bilateral relations with Kazakhstan.”