Just a week after the referendum, that allowed him to run for two more seven-year-terms, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has called a snap election on Monday.
The president said he was giving up the remainder of his term in office on statements shared on his Telegram account.
The referendum granted more constitutional rights for Uzbeks, but also controversially granted Mirziyoyev, who won a second term in office in 2021, a reset on his time already spent as president and the chance to serve two extended seven-year terms.
The president said he felt he needed a fresh mandate under the new constitution to carry out further reforms.
His decision on Monday does slightly curtail the thereotical maximum period he could remain president, as presidential elections might not have taken place until 2026 under normal circumstances.
Mirziyoyev stopped short of announcing a date for the vote in speech on Monday. Uzbek law requires at least two months’ notice.
The president praised the Uzbek people as “the real authors of the updated constitution,” which was approved with some 90% of the vote on 1 May.
He made a raft of promises for the future ahead. These included further expanding the range of social services for the poor, elderly and those with disabilities. He also pledged to ensure “harmony” between different ethnic groups within the Uzbek population.
The 65-year-old nevertheless said he needed a fresh mandate to carry out those reforms.