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Uzbekistan votes in parliamentary election

Polls opened in Uzbekistan early Sunday for parliamentary elections in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state where all four competing parties support President Islam Karimov’s policies. More than 20 million voters have registered to elect the 150-seat lower house of parliament, the Oliy Majlis, after the authorities sent out text messages urging people to vote. Polling stations opened at 6:00 am  and were due to close at 8:00pm. Head of the central election commission Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalamov said the conditions had been set for “free and fair elections... that meet the highest international democratic standards.” 

President Karimov has transferred some powers to parliament in recent years, including a mechanism for a vote of no confidence in the govt and allowing the party with the majority of seats to nominate the PM. 

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