12:05 GMT +317 January 2018
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    A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Tashkent on March 29, 2015

    Uzbekistan Presidential Election Wraps Up Amid High Turnout

    © AFP 2018/ MUHAMMADSHARIF MAMATKULOV
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    Polling stations closed in Uzbekistan with the country's election commission claiming that over 85 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots as of 5 p.m. local time.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Polling stations have closed in Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia that voted Sunday in a presidential election.

    Uzbekistan's election commission said that over 85 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots as of 5 p.m. local time (12:00 GMT), or 17.7 million people.

    The election authority added the polls ran smoothly. Voting stations shut down as scheduled, at 8 p.m. (15:00 GMT) local time, with the first official statement on the turnout due at 10 p.m. (17:00 GMT).

    Preliminary results of the election will be announced on Monday.

    Uzbekistan's incumbent President Islam Karimov has been in office since 1990. This time, he runs against three other hopesfuls — Democrats Hatamzhon Ketmonov and Akmal Saidov, and Social Democrat Narimon Umarov.

    The voting was held "in full compliance with the democratic principles," and no violations were registered, the election commission noted. The process was monitored by 300 international watchdogs from 43 countries, as well as nonprofits.

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