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Uzbek Opposition Party Calls For Election Boycott

22 October 2004 -- An Uzbek opposition party has urged voters to boycott the 26 December parliamentary elections, as it ruled out attempting to field independent candidates.

The leader of the Free Peasants party, Nigora Khidoyatova, described the procedure for the nomination of independent candidates as "too complicated."

As activists were discussing their plans, a group of people banged on the door of the party offices and smashed its windows with stones.

The motive for the attack was unclear, but the party called the attackers "provocateurs."

City police officials said no such incident had been reported to them.

The republic has five legal political parties, which are all supporting President Islam Karimov. Opposition parties were barred from the vote after failing to meet the registration deadline.