The Republican Press Center on covering the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan has played host on 4 October to a panel discussion on the significance of presidential ballot. The event was organized by the Central Election Commission in cooperation with the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The roundtable discussion gathered members of the Central Election Commission, the Academy of Public Administration, jurisprudence scholars, experts in the field of electoral law, representatives of mass media.
Chairman of the Central Election Commission Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov noted that in the years of independence, as a result of steadfast modernization of the political, public and legal spheres, a national electoral system has been created in our country that meets the highest democratic requirements. In this regard, the right of citizens to participate in government and governance is being secured to a full extent. It becomes imperative to cement the democratic principles of organization of elections on the basis of universally recognized norms and provisions enshrined in Uzbekistan’s Constitution and laws.
Preparations for the elections due on December 4 this year are carried out amid the environment of enhancing processes of reforms and democratization, growing political and public activity and civic responsibility of the people and their mounting demands in the assessment of socio-political and socio-economic transformation, of the activities of political parties and civil society institutions. It is carried out in strict accordance with the Program of Major Events for the preparations and conduct of elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
It was highlighted at the occasion that elections are held in our country on the basis of universally accepted standards of universality, equal suffrage, direct and secret ballot, voluntary participation in voting, and transparency. In particular, in accordance with amendments and addenda introduced in 2015 into the Law on Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, electoral campaigning is prohibited not only on the Election Day, but also the day before the vote.
As it was noted at the panel discussion, a crucial role in ensuring the openness and transparency of the electoral process is played by mass media. The Uzbek media have been active in covering the preparations for the forthcoming elections in the country. As a clear indication of this, the Central Election Commission has to date accredited more than 500 representatives of foreign and national media.
All the activities of election commissions are held with the participation of journalists. Regularly aired are TV and radio programs on the subject matter, while videos are demonstrated explaining the stages of the electoral process to voters. The campaign is also widely covered on the pages of print and online editions.
Those speaking at the roundtable discussion expounded on the importance of the upcoming presidential elections, on the basic criteria for the conduct of election campaign with an eye to the principles of publicity and transparency, and on the latest amendments and addenda introduced into the electoral law.
At the panel discussion that was held in the format of interactive dialogue and exchange of views, the participants received detailed answers to their questions.
Political parties continue collecting voters’ signatures
After the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted a resolution to grant the country’s four political parties permission to participate in the 4 December 2016 elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the political parties began collecting signatures of voters supporting presidential candidates.
In accordance with the law “On elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, political parties should collect in support of their presidential candidate signatures of at least 1 per cent of the overall number of voters in the Republic of Uzbekistan, and their signature lists should contain signatures of voters representing not fewer than 8 administrative-territorial units.
The Samarqand Regional council of the movement of entrepreneurs and businessmen – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan is also carrying out this process at works, enterprises, neighbourhoods and educational establishments in conformity with provisions of legislation. In this effort, possibilities of the party’s district and town councils and more than a thousand of its primary organizations are being used productively.
“The collection of signatures is one of the important initial stages of the election campaign. Therefore, every active member of our party is making a responsible approach to this work. In accordance with our country’s effective legislation, the number of voter signatures in lists of signatures should amount to at least 1 per cent of the overall number of voters in the country. There are 2 million 373 thousand 738 voters in Samarqand Region, and 1 per cent of this number is 25 thousand. So far our party has collected more than 20 thousand signatures in support of the candidate put forward,” says the chief of the organizational-party work department of the party’s regional council, Jahongir Khojamqulov.
In the process of collecting signatures, the regional council of the party is conducting large-scale propagation events for the purpose of raising people’s political activeness and increasing the election-related awareness of citizens, especially young people voting in elections for the first time.