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Uzbekistan Delays Presidential Vote

Uzbek President Islam Karimov
TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan's parliament has moved back the country's presidential polls from December 2014 to the first half of 2015.

The decision, announced on March 23, was made so that the presidential vote does not coincide with parliamentary elections.

The new law says the parliamentary elections will be held in December 2014 and the presidential election will take place 90 days after the official results of the parliamentary elections are made public.

Uzbekistan, which has been ruled by President Islam Karimov since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, is considered by Western governments and human rights groups to be an authoritarian state where civil rights are severely limited.

The country's last parliamentary elections, in 2009-10, were considered neither free nor fair by international observers.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS and AFP