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Uzbekistan votes ‘yes’ to new constitution

A draft law on Uzbekistan’s new constitution, which would increase the president’s term from five to seven years, was overwhelmingly supported by 90.21% of registered voters in a referendum, with only 9.35% voting against it, the country’s electoral body announced on Monday.

Uzbekistan voted on the referendum on Sunday, which called for major legislative changes, such as increasing the country’s presidential term from five to seven years, with a limit of only two terms in a row.

According to preliminary results, the turnout in the referendum was 84.54%, Central Election Commission Chairman Zainiddin Nizamkhodzhaev said.

The referendum sought to amend certain articles of the country’s constitution concerning human rights and freedoms, as well as social and administrative reforms.

The new constitution will increase the state’s social obligations, including one that states: “To ensure human rights and freedoms is the highest aim of the state.”

It also proposed reducing the Senate’s size from 100 to 65 members.

According to the new constitution, the president will delegate some responsibilities and powers to the parliament.

On March 10, the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan, the lower house of parliament, adopted the law “on new regulations in the Uzbekistan constitution,” after which the Senate approved the draft constitution and ordered that the new regulations and amendments be put to a public vote.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara

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