[JURIST] Uzbek President Islam Karimov [official profile; BBC profile] has registered to run for a third term in office, despite an amendment to the Uzbek constitution [text] limiting presidents to two consecutive terms. Karimov accepted a nomination to run for president earlier this month, but has given no official explanation for how his decision comports with the constitution. The election is scheduled for Dec. 23. Five opposition candidates have been blocked from registering, and three others that have registered are members of pro-government parties and are considered by observers to be fig leaf competition. AP has more.
Karimov, who has been president of the former Soviet republic since before independence, has come under international fire for his crackdown against anti-government elements since the May 2005 uprising in Andijan [JURIST news archive] that resulted in the massacre of unarmed Uzbek civilians [JURIST report]. Among those who have been arrested and tried include the Uzbek rights activists Saidzhakhon Zainabitdinov and Nodira Khidayatova, as well as opposition leader and businessman Sandjar Umarov [JURIST reports].