Uzbek President Mirziyoyev set to run for second term

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Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev attends a news conference with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Tashkent, Uzbekistan April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

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TASHKENT, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Uzbekistan’s ruling Liberal Democratic party plans to nominate President Shavkat Mirziyoyev as its candidate in the Oct. 24 election, the party said on Saturday.

Mirziyoyev, 64, is widely expected to run for a second term, and win, but has so far made no comment on his plans. He came to power in 2016 following the death of Islam Karimov, the Central Asian nation's former Soviet leader and first president.

Since assuming office, Mirziyoyev has launched an ambitious economic reform programme, opening up the nation of 34 million to foreign trade and investment, and eased restrictions on religious and media freedoms, but the political system remains highly centralised.

Four other candidates have been nominated so far by other political parties, all of which have seats in parliament although opposition parties never criticise the president.

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Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Jason Neely and Clelia Oziel

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