Acting Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyayev has won the presidential election with 88.61 percent of the vote.

The official turnout was 87.83 percent, with more than 17.9 million out of some 20 million eligible voters taking part.

Uzbekistan’s Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov told a press conference on December 5 that as many as 15,900,000 voters voted for Liberal Democratic Party’s candidate Shavkat Mirziyayev, making up 88.61 percent of the whole number of voters

There were three other candidates on the ballot: Khatamjon Ketmanov of the People’s Democratic Party, Sarvar Otamuratov of the Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party, and Nariman Umarov of the Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said in a statement on December 5 that the presidential election underscored “the need for comprehensive reforms” in the country.

The 59-year-old Mirziyayev, who had been the country’s prime minister since 2003, was made acting president six days after Islam Karimov’s death was announced.  Islam Karimov ruled Uzbekistan for a quarter-century until his death three months ago.

Some experts consider that Uzbekistan's new leader, Shavkat Mirziyayev, is making a difference in regional politics in Central Asia.  In less than one month, Mirziyaev has reportedly moved to improve ties with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and in so doing has sparked hopes for a new era of regional cooperation.