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TASHKENT, December 21 /TASS/. An election campaign to the lower /legislative/ chamber of the Uzbek parliament and a series of elections to local government bodies that kicked off on September 15 will be over on Sunday when 20.8 million Uzbek citizens come to polling stations to elect those who will represent their interests at all levels of power in the next five years.
A CIS monitoring mission wrote in its interim report that “technically everything is ready for voting.”
“The fact that many international observers have wished to monitor the 2014 elections indicate the world’s growing interest in Uzbekistan and the country’s growing international authority,” Sergei Lebedev, the CIS executive secretary and the CIS mission,” said in an interview with the local media.
“This year, the CIS observer mission consisted of 76 people representing eight CIS countries and the CIS Executive Committee. They include the heads and members of Central Electoral Commissions, parliamentarians, diplomats, members of government and representatives of various political parties who have vast experience in assessing election’s results. I am sure that the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan will pass at a high level,” Lebedev stressed.
Today’s parliamentary elections should be regarded as a starting point for another vital political event in Uzbekistan’s political life - the presidential elections. Under Uzbek laws, they should take place not later than 90 days after the parliamentary polls. The presidential term of Uzbekistan’s incumbent president, Islam Karimov, was supposed to have expired late in 2014. His term, however, was extended for another 18 months after amendments had been made to a law on elections to representative bodies of state power and the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
During his recent visit to Uzbekistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Uzbek President Islam Karimov that an election cycle would start in Uzbekistan soon such as elections to the legislative assemblies followed by presidential elections.
“At the start of our talks I would like to wish you success in holding these important events,” Putin told Karimov.
Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, the head of the Uzbek Central Electoral Commission, told a briefing ahead of the vote that the Commission jointly with state and public organizations had carried out large-scale preparations for the elections.
For the first time in world practice, in accordance with amendments to article 117 of the Uzbek Constitution, the Uzbek Central Electoral Commission received the status of a constitutional body, which occupies a special place in the system of state power that prepares and holds elections without interference from other bodies of power.
“That provides another vital guarantee that the election process will be independent and open and that really democratic and honest elections will be held,” Abdusalomov said.
The following parties and movements have nominated 535 candidates to the lower house of the Uzbek parliament: the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People - the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan /135/; the Social-Democratic Party “Adolat” (132); the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan “Milliy Tiklanish” (134); the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (134). Women make up 31.8% of the total number of registered candidates, the Uzbek Central Electoral Commission said.
The Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan that will occupy 15 out of 150 seats in the lower chamber of the Uzbek parliament will nominate its candidates on the day of elections.
The monitoring missions of the Commonwealth of Independent States /CIS/; the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe /OSCE/; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); the Association of World Election Bodies and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC). Besides, the Central Electoral Commission has registered about 300 monitors from almost 40 countries representing Asia, Europe, Africa, America and the Commonwealth. District electoral commissions have issued relevant mandates to more than 70,000 observers and authorized representatives of political parties that take part in elections.