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Uzbekistan's Acting President To Run In December Election

Acting Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyaev will run in the presidential election scheduled for December, the country's election commission has said.

Mirziyaev, who previously served as prime minister, is widely considered a clear favorite to win a five-year term in the December 4 vote.

Mirziyaev became acting president on September 8, days after the death of authoritarian President Islam Karimov.

The election commission said on September 16 that Mirziyaev was nominated as a candidate by the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the country's largest party.

The commission also announced that the Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party had nominated Sarvar Otamuradov for president.

Milliy Tiklanish is one of five pro-government parties that hold seats in the country's rubber-stamp parliament.

Uzbekistan has no record of holding elections deemed free and fair by Western observers.

The government announced on August 28 that Karimov, 78, had been hospitalized with an undisclosed ailment, which it later said had been a stroke. It announced Karimov's death on September 2.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AFP, and