Voters in Uzbekistan are casting their ballots in a presidential election in which incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev faces no genuine opposition and is almost certain to win a second term, Al Jazeera reports.
Voting across the Central Asian country of 34 million people began at 8am local time (03:00 GMT) on Sunday and will last until 8pm (15:00 GMT).
In his bid to secure a second five-year term, Mirziyoyev faces four contenders who are loyal to his government and who were plucked from parties in the rubber-stamp parliament.
A would-be independent challenger, academic Khidirnazar Allakulov, fell at the first hurdle after failing to register a party that could nominate him.
Mirziyoyev’s predicted victory will allow him to deepen his largely successful reform campaign and likely lead to Uzbekistan opening up further to foreign trade and investment – while retaining a highly centralised political system.