0952 GMT January 20, 2022
Observer missions from the Commonwealth of Independent States on the monitoring of the preparation of the presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan
(September 29 - October 18, 2021)
At the invitation of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Observer Mission from the Commonwealth of Independent States (hereinafter - the Mission) monitors the preparation and conduct of elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter - the elections).
The Central Election Commission, in accordance with Article 117 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Article 36 of the Election Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, determined the date of the elections - October 24, 2021 and announced the start of the election campaign from July 23, 2021.
The mission began work on September 29, 2021, carries out its activities freely and independently, guided by the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, documents adopted within the framework of the Commonwealth, without interfering in the electoral process and in the internal affairs of the state.
As of October 18, 2021, documents were submitted for accreditation of 162 observers from the CIS, representing the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, as well as the Executive Committee of the CIS.
Observers from the Commonwealth discussed the course of the election campaign with the leadership of the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Prosecutor's Office, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Meetings were held with the campaign headquarters of all five political parties that nominated candidates for the presidency.
During long-term observation, the members of the Mission got acquainted with the work of district and precinct election commissions in Andijan, Bukhara, Navoi, Namangan, Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Syrdarya, Tashkent, Fergana regions and the city of Tashkent.
The Mission's activities are covered in the press, television and radio broadcasts. The Mission headquarters issues information messages on the monitoring of the preparation of the elections. Long-term observers from the Commonwealth are open to communication with representatives of the media.
Legislative framework for holding elections
The legal basis for holding elections is the Constitution, the Election Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan 2019 (hereinafter - the Code), the provisions of which are for the first time applied to regulate the process of electing the head of state, the norms of a number of other legislative acts, as well as decisions of the Central Election Commission explaining certain procedures for organizing the election campaign.
Following the 2019 parliamentary elections, a number of changes were made to the Code in February and May 2021, the main of which are as follows:
an exclusively judicial procedure has been established for considering complaints against decisions of election commissions;
the procedures for including citizens abroad in the voter lists were clarified;
the notification procedure for holding mass events during the campaign period has been fixed.
Experts from the Mission Headquarters and the International Institute for Monitoring the Development of Democracy, Parliamentarism and Observance of the Electoral Rights of Citizens of the Member States of the IPA CIS are completing their analysis of the electoral legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Their conclusions will be outlined after voting day in a final document.
Formation of election commissions and their activities
The preparation and conduct of elections is carried out by the Central Election Commission, 14 district and 10,814 precinct election commissions, including 54 abroad.
The Central Election Commission (hereinafter - the Central Commission, CEC) is formed by the chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, consisting of at least 15 members. The current composition of the Central Commission consists of 21 members.
CEC members are elected by the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis on the recommendation of the Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent city councils of people's deputies. The chairman of the Central Commission is elected from among its members on the proposal of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan at a meeting of the commission.
District election commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter - district commissions, DECs) are formed by the CEC consisting of a chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and 8-18 other members of the commission.
Precinct election commissions (hereinafter - precinct commissions, PECs) are formed by district commissions of 5-19 members, including the chairman, deputy chairman and secretary.
The formation of district and precinct commissions took place in accordance with the procedure and terms specified in the Code. Information about the addresses, telephone numbers of the commissions, as well as the lists of their members have been published in the press.
The mission notes the systematic work of the Central Commission on the organization of the election campaign.
By resolutions of the CEC, the Program of the main measures for preparation for the election of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Timetable for the election of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan were approved.
The Central Commission adopted 18 resolutions, which approved 7 regulations and instructions regulating various issues of the presidential elections, and changed 11 existing resolutions of the CEC.
Much attention is paid to the training of election organizers, which was carried out in accordance with the Concept of organizing advanced training for members of election commissions, approved by the CEC on April 27, 2021.
The educational process took place in several stages. At the first stage, curricula and teaching materials were prepared, the coaching staff was formed. At the second stage - from June to September 2021 - training seminars were held for candidates for the positions of chairmen, deputy chairmen and secretaries of precinct commissions, covering more than 30,000 people. At the third stage, after the formation of precinct commissions, practical training sessions were held for the rest of the PEC members.
A separate training workshop was organized on August 18-19, 2021 for members of district commissions.
In order to improve the electoral culture of all participants in the electoral process, the CEC published brochures "Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 100 Answers to 100 Questions", "Guarantees of Citizens' Electoral Rights", "Financing the Process of Preparing for Elections". Also, memos were prepared for observers from political parties, citizens' self-government bodies, media representatives, employees of internal affairs bodies and the National Guard.
The mission notes the open and open work of the Central Commission, collegial discussion of the issues it considers. Meetings of the CEC are held in the presence of authorized representatives of political parties, international observers, journalists and are broadcast on the official page of the Central Commission in the social network Facebook in real time.
As part of long-term monitoring, CIS observers get acquainted with the activities of district and precinct commissions in preparation for the elections and note that they have the necessary working conditions, are provided with transport, communications, computers, legal and methodological literature. The PEC premises contain information about candidates, infograms on the voting procedure, recommendations on preventing the spread of coronavirus infection.
In accordance with the Code, citizens who have reached eighteen years of age by the day or on the day of elections are included in the voter list, permanently or temporarily residing at the time of compilation of the list in the territory of the given polling station.
Voter lists are compiled by precinct commissions on the basis of data from the information system for the formation of the Unified Electronic Voter List (UESI).
Within three days after their formation, the precinct commissions received preliminary voter lists from the UESI and, together with representatives of the public, carried out work to clarify them by way of door-to-door rounds of those living on the territory of the precinct.
Starting from October 9, 2021, citizens have been given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the voter lists at the PEC premises and, if necessary, apply to the precinct commission about an error or inaccuracy in the lists. The PEC's decision to reject such an application can be appealed in court.
In addition, voters can use the interactive service “Find yourself in the voter list” launched on the CEC website. If the information about the polling station in the EESI does not match the address of permanent or temporary residence, a citizen can change his polling station using the service "Determining and changing a polling station" provided through the Unified portal of interactive state services.
Persons temporarily or permanently residing abroad could apply in writing to be included in the voter list at the PECs in the country of their location, or, no later than 15 days before the elections, submit an application in electronic form through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Citizens in foreign countries are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with data concerning them from the voter list through the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic and other missions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in foreign countries.
A voter who, for any reason, is not included in the list, on election day, on the basis of a document proving his identity, citizenship and place of residence, may be included in the appendix to the voter list.
According to the CEC, about 21 million 200 thousand voters are included in the lists for participation in the elections.
Nomination and registration of presidential candidates
In accordance with the Code, the right to nominate candidates for President belongs to political parties registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan no later than 4 months before the day of the announcement of the start of the election campaign.
On August 14, 2021, the Central Commission decided to allow all five political parties that submitted the relevant applications to participate in the elections.
The nomination of presidential candidates took place from August 20 to September 9, 2021 at the congresses of political parties.
In support of the nominated candidate, it was necessary to collect signatures of at least one percent of the total number of all voters in the republic.
To verify the signature lists provided by political parties, 3 expert groups were formed consisting of CEC members, representatives of the public, specialists from the internal affairs bodies, and justice, who came to the conclusion that the collection of signatures was carried out in accordance with the requirements of the law.
The Central Commission, having considered the documents submitted by political parties, registered as candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan: from the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan "Milliy Tiklanish" - A. Kodirov, from the Ecological Party of Uzbekistan - N. Oblomuradov, from the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan - M. Varisova, from Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan "Adolat" - B. Abdukhalimova, from the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People - Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan - Sh. Mirziyoyev.
Election Campaigning and Campaign Coverage
In accordance with the Code, the election campaign is held from September 20 to October 22, 2021.
According to the Regulation on the procedure for conducting election campaigning by candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved by the Central Commission, each candidate for the highest state post on 5 republican channels of the National TV and Radio Company of Uzbekistan (Uzbekiston 24, Uzbekiston, Mahalla, Yoshlar, Culture and education ”) 240 minutes of airtime were provided for the pre-election campaign. In addition, candidates' 30-second campaign videos are broadcast four times a day in single blocks of 150 seconds each day.
In each of the 14 regions of the republic on local television and radio channels, candidates for campaigning work were allocated 140 minutes of air time.
For the publication of the speeches of presidential candidates in 6 central and 26 regional newspapers, equal print space was provided free of charge.
Applicants can also purchase airtime and print space for a fee.
In the struggle for votes, candidates actively use the printed publications and websites of their parties, as well as the possibilities of social networks, Internet platforms, and other information and communication means.
Free of charge and on equal terms, places have been allocated for campaigning events, as well as premises for meetings of candidates and their proxies with voters.
Election commissions of all levels, the media provide comprehensive information support for the preparation and conduct of elections.
In order to strengthen cooperation with the media during the election campaign, objective coverage of the activities of election commissions at all levels, campaign events of candidates, the CEC signed bilateral memorandums with 17 media outlets of the republic.
TV and radio channels regularly broadcast informational videos explaining voter rights and voting procedures, as well as public service announcements calling for participation in elections. Information and advertising boards, banners and posters placed in the most visited places are used to inform voters about the voting day.
By order of the CEC, posters of a single sample with biographical data of presidential candidates were produced, which are placed in the premises of district and precinct commissions.
Detailed information on preparations for the elections is available on the website of the Central Commission, the Elections 2021 web portal, as well as on the official pages of the CEC on social networks: Odnoklassniki, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram and YouTube.
The work of the CEC call-center has been organized, by the telephone of which citizens can receive qualified answers to questions about the elections.
In order to create the necessary conditions for the work of media representatives to cover the preparations for the elections, to promptly receive and disseminate information about the course of the election campaign, the press center of the CEC and its branches in the regions of the republic have been opened.
In the opinion of the Mission, in general, the election campaign is being held in a calm atmosphere, in the spirit of open competition and at a high organizational level.
The Mission will present its final conclusions and assessments in a final document after the elections.