December 16, 2014
CIS Observer Mission Arrives in Uzbekistan Ahead of Parliamentary Elections
A long-term CIS observer mission has arrived in Uzbekistan following an invitation from the Central Election Commission (CEC).

The group representing the CIS Executive Committee will observe the ongoing preparations for and conduct of the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 21.

At a meeting with the observers at CEC, the Chairman of the Commission, Mirzo-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, told the guests about the ongoing election campaign, which is based on the principles of transparency and openness and is in strict compliance with the Constitution of Uzbekistan, election legislation and a program of measures to prepare for and conduct the elections to the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) as well as District and City Kengashes (Councils) of People’s Deputies.

The members of the observation mission have learned that the political parties and candidates’ election canvassing is in full swing ahead of the election day. Participants of the election process have been provided with an equal footing to implement the campaign and use media opportunities to these ends.

“We accepted the invitation from Uzbekistan’s Central Election Commission with a tremendous pleasure,” said Vladimir Garkun, First Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee. “We highly appreciate the amendments to the election legislation in your country that have contributed to the further liberalization and democratization of the election process. This can be seen in the fact that the Constitution consolidates the CEC’s status and strengthens guarantees for its independence. The overarching principle of the mission’s work is impartiality. Our activities will strictly comply with the national legislation of Uzbekistan and documents adopted under the Commonwealth and will be based on international standards of election observation.”

“The CIS observer mission participated in Uzbekistan’s previous parliamentary as well,” noted Yevgeniy Sloboda, head of a department at CIS Executive Committee. “The national election legislation has made notable progress in recent years and meets democratic requirements.

Guarantees for citizens’ freedom of expression have been strengthened, and political parties and parliamentary candidates enjoy all the necessary conditions for pre-election campaigns.”

To coordinate the activities of the CIS observer group, mission headquarters will launch work in Tashkent to facilitate observation activities. The headquarters’ responsibilities will include gathering, processing and analyzing materials concerning the course of the election process, legal audit of the election laws, monitoring of news broadcast by television channels and publications by print media, holding meetings with heads of political parties’ pre-election headquarters and candidates, and deployment of groups of CIS observers to regions and determining their agenda.

During the session at CEC the CIS observer mission members were granted mandates entitling them to participate in events related to preparations for and conduct of the elections as well as being present at polling stations on the election day and in rooms, where the votes will be counted.

As we reported earlier, the OSCE/ODIHR has deployed a limited election observation mission to follow the upcoming elections in Uzbekistan.

Another three international organizations – The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Association of World Election Bodies and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – are slated to dispatch observation groups to Uzbekistan. Moreover, representatives of around 40 Asian, European, African and American countries have expressed willingness to observe the upcoming elections. The groups are expected to include heads and members of national parliaments, representatives of public organizations and media as well as political scientists.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


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