PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 2016
December 18, 2014
Briefing Dedicated to the Upcoming Elections
A briefing on coverage of the elections in 2014 for observers from other states and international organizations, representatives of domestic and foreign media, dedicated to the upcoming elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, regional, district and city councils of people\'s deputies took place on December 17, at the Republican press center.
The event, organized by the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan was attended by representatives of missions on Election’ Observation from the CIS and the ODIHR’ OSCE, foreign observers, representatives of international organizations and diplomatic corps accredited in Uzbekistan, foreign and domestic journalists.
Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov informed the briefing participants on the work done on the preparation and conduct of elections to the Oliy Majlis and local representative bodies of state power.
It was noted that the elections are an essential attribute of a democratic state with a strong civil society, the basic form of the will of the people.
Exercising their constitutional right to elect and be elected, citizens participate in managing the affairs of the state and society.
It was emphasized that the current elections to the parliament and representative bodies of state authority are carried out in the areas in a qualitatively new socio-political and socio-economic conditions. Based on the Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country, adopted in November 2010 by the Oliy Majlis, as well as the experience of the 2009 parliamentary elections in the country, a Constitution and electoral laws were amended and supplemented, aimed at further democratization and liberalization of the electoral process.
In accordance with the amendments to Article 117 of the Constitution of the Central Election Commission – for the first time in the world practice- a status of a constitutional body has been given, which has a special place in the government, providing preparation and conduct of elections without any interference by other authorities. This was another important guarantee of comprehensive support of democracy, openness and transparency of the elections.
In order to organize and conduct elections at the highest democratic level, the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in cooperation with state and public organizations operating in the country, political parties, carried out a lot of preparatory work.
On May 12 of this year, the Central Election Commission approved a program for the preparation and holding of elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, regional, district and city councils of people\'s deputies in 2014. The program defined essential requirements and targets for the preparation and conduct of elections; all upcoming events are set on the basis of a clear time schedule. It is possible to organize the entire electoral process at a high level of democracy, providing conditions for full implementation of the electoral rights of citizens, by active participation of political parties in the formation of public authorities.
Effective work was organized on a broad explanation to the voters of the provisions of the electoral legislation, by familiarizing citizens with the election programs of political parties and candidates, business and moral qualities of the candidates, ensuring voter’ awareness about the preparations for the elections.
The campaign for elections to parliament and local councils of people\'s deputies was launched on September 15 of this year. The briefing participants were informed that all four political parties in Uzbekistan are participating in the parliamentary elections in 2014. In due time they held congresses and kurultais, where they nominated candidates for deputies of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis. The total number of registered candidates amounted to 535 people, including the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen - Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan - 135, the Social Democratic Party \"Adolat\" - 132, the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan \"Milly Tiklanish\" - 134 People\'s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan - 134 candidates. Women make up 31.8% of the total number of registered candidates.
For the second time - the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan is participating at the elections, which, according to the electoral law, has 15 out of 150 seats in the lower house of parliament. The conference of Eco movement will be held on December 21 for the election of deputies of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis. They will be elected from among candidates, nominated at the conference by secret ballot - one deputy from each administrative-territorial unit of the Republic of Uzbekistan and of the Executive Committee of the Central Council of the Ecological Movement.
As it was noted at the briefing, all activities within the campaign are carried out in strict accordance with the law. 135 electoral districts were formed for the election of deputies to the Legislative Chamber - at an average of 154 thousand voters in one district - 9035 polling stations, including 44 - with offices of Uzbekistan in foreign countries. The district and precinct election commissions were formed from among reputable, respected citizens, who have experience of participation in election campaigns of previous years. Lists of districts and areas indicating the number of voters and all the information on the staff of district and precinct election commissions are published in the press.
Series of seminars were organized in all regions of the country for members of election commissions in order to improve their legal culture, introduce them with the innovations in the electoral legislation. Currently, all the polls are completely ready for a vote. They are provided with all necessary - means of communication, computers and office equipment, legal literature. Specially designated areas are equipped with booths for secret voting, ballot boxes have been installed. Precinct election commissions have compiled comprehensive lists of voters, which have included 20789572 citizens. All voters are informed about the time and place of voting.
In accordance with the legislation, the voters, who cannot be on Election Day at their place of residence, have the right to vote in advance. In cases, where individual voters due to health or other reasons cannot come to the polling station, upon their request, the precinct election commissions organize voting in the place of their residence. Early voting began on 11 December of this year and will be completed on 19 December.
The most important stage of the election campaign - election campaigning began and continues to the present time since November 15 of this year. Political parties and candidates have been provided a broad and equal opportunities in the use of media. Equal airtime on state television and radio and equal space in the republican print media are allocated to them free of charge for election campaigning. Presentations by representatives of political parties, candidates for deputies are approved by the CEC in accordance with a schedule.
Political parties pay special attention to the direct meetings with voters - from the beginning of the election campaign they arranged in total over 9500 such meetings. Analysis of the course of the election campaign shows that it is carried out in strict accordance with the requirements of the electoral law.
Besides, TV debates of representatives of political parties, candidates to deputies are very interesting, where they defend their point of view with lively discussions. TV debates are conducted weekly on state central and regional TV channels, as well as in nongovernment TV channels.
Internet opportunities are widely used-including social networks, web-sites of political parties, internet publishing. In short, all necessary conditions are created for introduction of voters with pre-elective platform of political parties, future activity of deputies, their personal capacities to ensure election of the most worthy.
It was especially highlighted at the briefing that transparency and openness of elections are provided by the Institute of observers. Currently the main group of ODIHR of OSCE’ Election Observation Mission and CIS observation missions are operating in Uzbekistan. Observers from three international organizations - the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the World Association of electoral bodies and Organization of Islamic Cooperation will join them soon. In addition, the Central Election Commission registered more 300 observers from almost 40 countries, representing Asia, Europe, Africa, America, and the CIS. In addition, the district election commissions gave the corresponding mandates for more 70 thousands observers and authorized representatives of political parties participating in the elections.
More than 340 representatives of domestic and foreign media, accredited by the Central Election Commission are involved in a broad coverage of the electoral process in Uzbekistan. To provide them with all necessary information materials, the Central Election Commission has established The Republican Press Center on coverage of the elections 2014, similar centers - at the Regional Election Commissions. It also organizes press conferences, briefings, seminars.
On the Election Day, the Central Election Commission will inform the public about the course of voting at the briefings to be held at the National Press Center on December 21 at 13.00, 17.00 and 22.00. The preliminary results of the voting will be announced the next day.
(Source: The Republican Press Center on coverage of the elections 2014)