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The World | IN BRIEF / UZBEKISTAN

Voters Add Two Years to Presidential Term

January 29, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Uzbeks voted to extend the presidential term from five years to seven in a referendum criticized by human rights groups as a bid for more power by authoritarian leader Islam Karimov.

Authorities said the measure was approved during Sunday's referendum, but they wouldn't say how many people voted for it. They said only that 8.9% voted against it. Voters also approved a switch from a one-house parliament to a bicameral legislature, officials said.

Officials said the measure will not apply retroactively to Karimov's term, which expires in 2005. But he is expected to seek another term.

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