From 18 December to 23 December 2019, delegation of the CEC of Russia takes part in the international monitoring of the preparation and conduct of the elections of deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which will be held on December 22.
The delegation includes Deputy Chairman of the CEC of Russia Nikolai Bulaev, Members of the CEC of Russia Anton Lopatin and Yevgeny Shevchenko, Head of the FCI at the CEC of Russia Mikhail Popov, representatives of the Office of the CEC of Russia.
On the eve of the trip, Nikolai Bulaev noted: “Uzbekistan is on the eve of a major political event. The formation of the parliament will take place according to the new rules, the basis of which is the Electoral Code adopted in 2019. Earlier in Uzbekistan, there were 5 separate laws on presidential, parliamentary and local elections.”
In addition to the systematization of norms and practices, this new document introduced a significant number of innovations into the electoral process of Uzbekistan. A new mechanism for registering voters based on the Unified Electronic Register has been introduced; restrictions on the voting of citizens in custody have been removed; the quota of deputy mandates previously reserved for 15 representatives of the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan has been abolished; the requirements for collecting signatures have been modified - now the voter can sign in support of more than one candidate, and much more. The election code also significantly expanded the rights of journalists and observers.
According to estimates by the CEC of Uzbekistan, more than 700 international observers from 50 foreign states and international organizations are expected to participate in the international observation of the parliamentary elections.
Russian observers visited the so-called Discussion Club (press center) formed in Tashkent, on the site of which debates of representatives of political parties and discussion of the most pressing topics of the political agenda with the participation of experts, journalists, politicians, including foreign ones, took place from 16 to 21 December. On 20 December, Russian observers attended the discussion session “New Uzbekistan - New Elections”, which raised issues of the development of parliamentarism in Uzbekistan, the functioning of the system of checks and balances, the role of parliament in the development of regional cooperation, the implementation of initiatives of the President of the Republic Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the restoration of Uzbekistan’s membership in international organizations and the development of relations with foreign countries.
On 21 December, CEC Members of Russia Anton Lopatin and Yevgeny Shevchenko took part in the initiation meeting of the Observation mission from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The mission consists of representatives from six countries: Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. At the meeting, the main tasks of the Mission were discussed, districts and cities were assigned where Mission members would observe the elections to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis and local councils (kengashes). On the same day, it is planned to monitor the preparations for the election day, visit a number of polling stations in Tashkent, as well as to meet with the Chairman of the CEC of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mirza-Ulubek Abdusalomov.
To note: this year more than 20 million citizens of the country with the right to vote will be able to cast their votes in the parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan, more than 2 million people will take part in the voting for the first time. The country will host general direct elections of 150 deputies of the legislative chamber of parliament, as well as elections to local councils of people's deputies. In total, about 35,000 deputy mandates are subject to replacement.
According to official data, more than 2.5 million citizens of the country are currently outside of Uzbekistan, including about 2 million in Russia. It should be noted that in the Russian Federation all conditions have been created for the voting of citizens of Uzbekistan: so, on 12-18 December 2019, early voting was organized at a number of permanent and mobile polling stations in Russia. On the voting day, polling stations will also operate in a number of Russian cities where voters of Uzbekistan would be able to vote.