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NEWS AND EVENTS
May 29, 2013
Factor to Guarantee Voters’ Rights
Khiva hosted an international panel discussion on International Practice and Experience of Uzbekistan in Democratization of the Electoral System.

I t was organized by the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament, the Institute for Monitoring Current Legislation under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society with the assistance of the Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator, a branch of the National Democratic Institute (USA) in Uzbekistan, the Regional Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Germany).

The national electoral system is streamlined under the consistent democratization of public and state construction. This, according to the participants of the panel discussion, is an important condition for the building of a strong civil society and deepening of democratic reforms. As emphasized by international experts from Germany, Russia, Spain and other countries, Uzbekistan formed the electoral legislation that conforms to international standards and democratic principles.

As noted by the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan Gyorgy Szabo, the OSCE is working closely with Uzbekistan in organization and conduct of elections. \\\"The fact that the electoral law is getting improved is an important factor for democratization of the electoral process. The Central Election Commission is doing its best to ensure the highest level of upcoming elections.”

The electoral law envisages that election to the representative bodies is held on a multiparty basis. The country has all the necessary legal, organizational and logistical conditions for free and active expression of people’s will, and participation of political parties. At all stages the elections are based on the principles of transparency and openness.

Institutions of authorized representatives of political parties, observers, agents of candidates to deputies are developing. The inter-party competition is growing, and the role of civil society institutions in the electoral process is significantly increasing.

The agenda assigned a special part to the ways of enhancing the role of the media in ensuring the openness and transparency of the elections, prompt informing the citizens about the preparation and conduct of the election campaign. The panelists pointed out to the need to fully implement the provisions of the electoral law, which stipulates that political parties and candidates to deputies are guaranteed an equal amount of free air time and print space in the state media during the election campaign. They noted the increasingly effective participation of the party press and nongovernmental mass media in the election campaigns.

“The use of the media by political parties and candidates to deputies during the election campaign is the most effective way to bring the nature and content of their election programs and ideas to the public,” noted Daniel Ureña, Vice-President of the European Association of Political Consultants (Spain). “Uzbekistan is constantly improving its national electoral legislation, including the participation of mass media in the elections, which proves the country’s intention to build a democratic society.”

Foreign experts stressed that all the measures contribute to activation of the political parties, enhancement of the role of citizens in the formation of representative bodies, hence, their participation in the affairs of state and society.

A new stage in the development of the electoral system was triggered by the legislative initiatives of the state’s leader put forward in his ‘Concept of intensifying democratic reforms and forming the civil society in the country’. In line with them, in 2012 the Parliament approved the Law ‘On introducing changes and amendments to the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan ‘On elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan’ and ‘On elections to the regional, district and municipal councils of people\\\'s representatives’ in order to further ensure the freedom of choice and development the electoral law’. The new regulations were aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of provision of equal terms and opportunities for political parties and candidates to deputies during the election campaign, the reliable provision of electoral rights of citizens and their free expression, transparency of the electoral commissions, introduction of new forms, methods and terms for the election campaigning.

According to Vladimir Garkun, first deputy chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, the amendments made last year to the electoral law made it possible to expand the election participants, as well as regulated all aspects of the election campaign.

During the round table participants shared their experiences in improving the electoral process, ensuring the principle of the rule of law and providing equal conditions for political parties, candidates for deputies during the election campaign. They discussed practices for monitoring the effectiveness of the electoral system, the role of the media and the use of ICT in the election campaign. Foreign experts noted that the electoral law and the electoral practice in Uzbekistan on a number of its parameters can be an example for other democratic countries.

The participants also made suggestions to further strengthen the institutional arrangements for the holding of democratic elections, including the improvement of the electoral commissions, revitalization of the political parties, full implementation of the principles of transparency and transparency of the electoral process, increasing legal culture of the electorate and organization of election.

(Source: “Uzbekistan today” newspaper)


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