Parliamentary elections to be held today
All 135 election districts, consisting of over 8,400 poling stations will open across Uzbekistan at 6 am on Sunday for election of deputies of the Legislative Chamber. 44 polling stations will open at Uzbekistan’s representations abroad. A total of 17,215,700 eligible voters will also cast their votes for the candidates to the local representative bodies of the state authority.
The 2009 parliamentary elections will be an important stage in the further democratization of the society, as well as renewal and modernization of the country. On the choice the voters will make depends the development of Uzbekistan and further reforms in the sociopolitical, economic and other spheres.
In the process of building a democratic state in Uzbekistan, the principle “from strong state to strong civil society” is being consistently implemented. As President Islam Karimov said at the celebrations of the 17th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, all reforms of the election system are aimed at guaranteeing transparency, freedom and justice of the election process.
During the years of independence, thanks to a step-by-step modernization of the political, state and legal system, an election system complying with the highest democratic requirements has been created in the country.
The present elections are being held in the qualitatively new political and socioeconomic conditions. The role of the two-chamber parliament and of the representative bodies of state authority in the regions has expanded and strengthened. The activity of the political parties and the level of inter-party competition have significantly increased.
To increase the level of the law-making work, the number of the deputies’ seats in the lower chamber of the parliament was increased from 120 to 150.
Only political parties now have the right to nominate candidates to deputies. An institute of the political party representative was introduced. This person can participate during the vote counting at polling stations. The possible number of the authorized representatives of the candidates has been increased from 5 to 10.
The opportunities of participation of other civil society institutes in the elections have also expanded. Taking into consideration the importance of the issues of environmental protection and people’s health, 15 seats in the Legislative Chamber will be given to deputies elected from the Environmental Movement.
The deputies from the Environmental Movement will be elected on the voting day by the movement’s higher body – the Conference, in which delegates from all regions of the country will participate.
Candidates from the social-democratic party Adolat (Justice), democratic party Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival), Liberal-Democratic Party (UzLiDeP) and the People’s Democratic Party are participating in the elections to the Legislative Chamber.
In accordance with the legislation, the parties and their candidates were provided with wide and equal rights to hold their pre-election campaigns, including meetings with voters and using the media to inform the public about their programs.
The publicity and openness of the elections are ensured by the institute of observers. The Central Election Commission registered more than 270 observers from 36 states and four international organizations, including OSCE ODIHR, CIS Executive Committee, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Organization of the Islamic Conference.
About 630 representatives of the local and foreign media are participating in the coverage of the election process. All meetings of the election commissions were held with participation of journalists. The Central Election Commission press center provides the media with timely information.