On 21 December 2019, the delegation of the CEC of Russia met with the Chairman of the CEC of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov.
The Deputy Chairman of the CEC of Russia Nikolay Bulaev thanked his Uzbek colleagues for the invitation to take part in the international observation of the parliamentary elections of the Republic, and shared his impressions of visiting polling stations in Tashkent, praising the readiness of election commissions for the election day:
“We always learn something from each other. I would especially emphasize the openness in communication shown by the members of the election commission. I was impressed by their attitude to work: people are competent and friendly. I am sure that the elections to be held tomorrow will be held at a decent level.”
Chairman of the CEC of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov spoke about the new Electoral Code and the main innovations that will be applied for the first time this year. This document, according to Mr. Abdusalomov, has incorporated many advanced electoral standards and practices that should qualitatively affect the electoral process of Uzbekistan. “The elections will be held in a new political atmosphere and on the basis of a new high-quality legislative base,” he stressed.
The head of the CEC of Uzbekistan thanked the representatives of the Russian delegation for their help in organizing early voting of Uzbek citizens in Russia. “During the current election campaign, we covered the maximum number of voters living abroad. Polling stations were established in more than 60 places of compact residence of Uzbeks, ”he said. “We are trying to do our best for our voters, to ensure their right to vote.”
Nikolai Bulaev, recognizing the importance and scale of the work done in Uzbekistan to improve the electoral process, expressed the willingness of the Russian side to provide comprehensive assistance to Uzbek colleagues. “Relations of maximum trust have been built between Russia and Uzbekistan. You can count on our help. And I hope that all foreign observers will objectively evaluate the upcoming elections and will treat with respect and understanding the laws and traditions of the country which they are visiting. Each country has the right to be independent and self-sufficing in making important decisions that determine, in essence, the country's future,” he emphasized.
During the meeting, Nikolai Bulaev informed about the active introduction of digital technologies in the electoral process in Russia, and expressed hope that in the near future new digital projects will allow citizens of other countries who reside in the Russian Federation to vote in national elections.
Members of the Central Election Commission of Russia Evgeny Shevchenko and Anton Lopatin, participating in the international observation with the SCO mission, spoke about their visits to a number of polling stations on 21 December, noting good preparation of the premises for voting.
“All sites that we visited are equipped with monitors, on which the voting procedure is displayed in detail, in an understandable form. Much has been done for the convenience of people with disabilities: special, larger size voting booths, stencils. The sites are fully ready for the elections,”said Yevgeny Shevchenko.
Member of the CEC of Russia Anton Lopatin noted the high level of professional training of members of election commissions, including their good knowledge of the norms of the electoral law.
Mikhail Popov, the Head of the FCI at the CEC of Russia, spoke about a meeting with colleagues from the republican Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications: “This year, Uzbekistan is the first to use a system that provides electronic registration of all voters. During the meeting, we discussed the encountered problems and their solutions that the representatives of Uzbekistan implemented in the course of this project. An exchange of experience took place, agreements were reached on continuing contacts on digitalization of the electoral process.”
After the meeting, Deputy Chairman of the CEC of Russia answered questions from journalists.
“From what we saw today, there was absolute confidence that the electoral system of Uzbekistan is ready for the elections. We see a high degree of organization, the introduction of information technology. This is important to ensure transparency of voting,” said Nikolai Bulaev. “We think that the activity of voters on the election day will be quite high.”