Observing The New Uzbekistan

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Residents vote for election in Fergana, Uzbekistan on 9 July 2023. (Photo by John Thet)

Central Asia’s most populous nation Uzbekistan was voted for their leader. Around 20 million Uzbeks are eligible for an election on 9 July at 10.784 polling stations across the country and overseas. 

Shavkat Mirziyoyev from the Liberal Democratic Party as the incumbent President was re-elected with 87% of the vote. He won against Abdushukur Khamzaev (Ecological Party) at 3,74%, Robakhon Makhmudova (Social Democratic Party) 4,43%, and Ulugbek Inoyatov (People’s Democratic Party) 4,02%. 

Uzbekistan 2 steps election made a new constitutional referendum in April 2023, that allowed the 65-year-old President Mirziyoyev to power from 5 to 7 years until 2030 and was limited to two consecutive terms.

Mirziyoyev won the election with the “New Uzbekistan” campaign, as he promised to strengthen the role of civil society institutions and protect human rights, pledging to open foreign investment and tourism. 

“We have developed a strategy for the development of the new Uzbekistan and widely discussed it together with the people during the election campaign. In this important conceptual document, in order to ensure the consistency and continuity of our transformations, the main idea is “From an action strategy to a development strategy,” The President said during a speech at his first inauguration ceremony, as quoted from the Presidential Press Service.

The election in this former Soviet Union republic was transparently organized by O’zbekiston Respublikasi Markaziy Saylov Komissiyasi or The Central Election Commission (CEC), who invited accredited international observers to observe the election and had tourism experience of Uzbekistan. 

Asian Geographic Magazine Director John Thet invited among other observers from 36 countries and 10 international organizations, including 200 from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and 1,299 media representatives. 

Qualifying observers present at meetings, observe preparations for voting at polling stations, vote and vote counting processes on election day, and receive certified copies of the protocols of election results.

As an observer representative from Singapore media, John witnessed the election at 2 voting locations in Fergana, 420 km from the capital city of Tashkent.  “I saw friendly people at voting election place, it was fair and clean voting by peoples of Uzbekistan,” 

“I was very interested to learn about one candidate who is the first female candidate for President and she was finished 2nd after the re-elected President was most loved among all the candidates,” he said.

After 2-days observing the election, John has his last day experiencing cultural workshops in the ceramic factory,  attending a local wedding ceremony, and visiting the Tashkent Art Museum. 

John has been 2nd time visiting Uzbekistan. But during this recent trip, he was impressed by a well-educated student of Uzbekistan Tourism intern who assisted him and friendly driver in Fergana.  

“Peoples in Fergana are so friendly and so warm welcome me very patiently explain on voting and many places bring me to see cultures of Uzbekistan

“I will never have enough to learn about this place and hope we can back to continue with the Asian Geographic Silk Road Expedition to Uzbekistan again every year and learn more about this country,” John, The Asian Geographic Director said. 

Uzbekistan has witnessed significant development since Mirziyoyev succeeded the first President Islam Karimov; from independence in 1991 until he died in 2016. Mirziyoyev’s reform agenda upon taking office, easing the government’s harsh censorship policies and implementing changes intended to invigorate citizen-government interaction, revitalize civil society, and boost women’s participation in government.

The gas-rich country also improving the economy and education system, with a future goal of doubling the gross domestic product to $160 billion (€146 billion).


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