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Uzbekistan Holds Runoff Elections For Parliament

Uzbekistan held a second round of parliamentary elections in 22 districts where no candidate received the needed amount of votes to win outright in the December 21 first round.

Only the top two candidates from the first round were competing for seats in the January 4 second round.

Uzbekistan has four political parties, all pro-presidential and often so similar that in the past Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov has said he could not tell them apart.

The elections were for the 150-seat Oliy Majlis, the lower house of parliament. Uzbekistan does not hold popular elections for the 100 deputies in the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

These latest parliamentary elections are the first since Uzbekistan amended its constitution, ostensibly to give the legislative branch more power while reducing the power of the executive branch of government.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

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