Europe

Uzbekistan's acting president wins election overwhelmingly

  • Uzbek acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev casts his ballot during presidential election in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Mirziyoyev, who spent 13 years as Karimov's prime minister, is expected to easily win a five-year term. Karimov led Uzbekistan since before the Soviet collapse, first as its communist boss and then as president. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov, Pool)

    Uzbek acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev casts his ballot during presidential election in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Mirziyoyev, who spent 13 years as Karimov's prime minister, is expected to easily win a five-year term. Karimov led Uzbekistan since before the Soviet collapse, first as its communist boss and then as president. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Uzbek man walks to cast his ballot during tightly controlled presidential election, the first vote since the death of authoritarian leader Islam Karimov who ruled the country for 27 years, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sunday Dec. 4, 2016. The odds-on favorite is acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who spent 13 years as Karimov's prime minister. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov)

    A Uzbek man walks to cast his ballot during tightly controlled presidential election, the first vote since the death of authoritarian leader Islam Karimov who ruled the country for 27 years, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sunday Dec. 4, 2016. The odds-on favorite is acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who spent 13 years as Karimov's prime minister. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov)  (The Associated Press)

  • Voters cast their ballots in Uzbekistan's tightly controlled presidential election, the first vote since the death of authoritarian leader Islam Karimov who ruled the country for 27 years, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sunday Dec. 4, 2016. The odds-on favorite is acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who spent 13 years as Karimov's prime minister. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov)

    Voters cast their ballots in Uzbekistan's tightly controlled presidential election, the first vote since the death of authoritarian leader Islam Karimov who ruled the country for 27 years, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sunday Dec. 4, 2016. The odds-on favorite is acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who spent 13 years as Karimov's prime minister. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov)  (The Associated Press)

Uzbek election officials say that acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has overwhelmingly won a tightly controlled presidential election.

Mirziyoyev garnered 88.61 percent of the vote, according to the head of the Central Election Commission.

Murza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov said during a briefing in Tashkent on Monday that Mirziyoyev got 15.9 million votes.

Sunday's poll was the first election in the Central Asian country since the August death of authoritarian leader Islam Karimov, who ruled for 27 years. Karimov's demise sparked fears of a power battle but the country's regional clans quickly grouped around Mirziyoyev.

Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous nation, is rich in natural resources and borders Afghanistan, making it of strategic interest to Russia, the U.S. and China.