Uzbekistan PM Mirziyoyev wins presidential election

Uzbekistan's Prime Minister and interim President Shavkat Mirziyoyev leaves a voting booth at a polling station during a presidential election in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, December 4, 2016. REUTERS/Anvar Ilyasov

Uzbekistan’s prime minister, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has won the presidential election with 88.61 percent of the vote, the Central Election Commission said on Monday.

“This shows that we are going along the path outlined by late President (Islam Karimov),” Mirziyoyev, who watched the announcement through a video link, told thousands of supporters a rally.

Mirziyoyev, 59, has served as prime minister from 2003 under Karimov, who died of a stroke in September having run Central Asia’s most populous nation, a former Soviet republic, for 27 years.

Mirziyoyev swiftly emerged as the likely successor to Karimov, getting appointed interim president when the senate speaker, given that role by constitution, gave it up in Mirziyoyev’s favor.

(Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Jack Stubbs/Jeremy Gaunt)

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