Uzbekistan, 22 December 2019. A bright winter’s day and the long awaited 2019 parliamentary and local council elections finally happened. The country is now at the brink of a new era, a New Uzbekistan, New Elections.
Uzbekistan renaissance! The country has developed a new election code, building on the experience of more than 50 countries. The electoral process benefitted greatly on the recommendations of the missions of international election observation organizations. These include the OSCE/ODIHR, SCO, CIS, the World Association of Electoral Bodies, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, proposals of the Venice Commission, as well as international electoral principles and standards.
Furthermore, consultations were held with political parties and representatives of self-government bodies. These entities were given the opportunity to observe the elections, thereby enhancing transparency and public accountability of the electoral process.
The following parties were eligible to participate in the 2019 elections:
- The Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People
- Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP),
- Democratic Party Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival),
- Social Democratic Party Adolat (Justice),
- People’s Democratic Party (PDPU) and Ecological Party of Uzbekistan.
They were contesting the 150 seats in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan (the lower house of the parliament). Out of the 150 seats, the Electoral Code establishes a 30 % quota for women. The Senate will then be formed following the elections for the legislative chamber.
A call center was established at the Central Election Commission (CEC) international press center where one could get answers to any questions pertaining to the election. This initiative served to make the elections open and transparent. A Danish MP, Diplomat Magazine and representatives of media houses from Germany, Russia and Pakistan among others, were also in the country to observe the election procedures.
Congratulations to the National TV & Radio Company of Uzbekistan for coordinating and accompanying members of the foreign media.
Election day and the hours leading up to that epic moment. On Friday 20 December a televised “Demokratik Debate” took place at the Yuksalish Discussion Club which was packed to capacity. Mr. Amir Khan of NYE TV, a well-known TV personality served as moderator of the debate.
Leaders of all the five parties participated in the debate. Each was given a two minutes elevator pitch to promulgate his party. A lively Q&A session followed and there were questions coming in from callers within the region, Italy and from the USA.
Election Day 2019 – Saylov 2019
Our delegation visited polling stations in Tashkent, the greater Tashkent region and beyond.
The hours of voting in Uzbekistan was from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The National Anthem of Uzbekistan was played at the outset. This apparently, is quite a unique feature which does not commonly occur in other elections globally.
It was only after a thorough verification of the voters’ data in the unified electronic voter list (EESI), which currently includes 20.5 million citizens of Uzbekistan, a voter was furnished with the necessary 3 ballot papers.
The first polling station visited was No. 645, located in the impressive main hall of the Conservatory in the Shayhontohur district. The Presiding Officer was Mr. Mirpayorov Bahodir Olmovich.
We went to another polling station, the National Social Newspapers building in Nurafshon city where we were cordially received by the chairman, Mr. Tursunboyev Olim Samadovich.
The following polling station was a Youth Center, polling station no.172. The Presiding officer was the friendly Madam Marziya Egamberdiyeva.
We next visited Polling station no. 170 where we were again warmly welcomed by Presiding officer Ms. Khasanova Muhabbat, his team and a group of keen observers.
The last polling station to be visited and where we attended the 8:00 p.m. closing and counting of the casted ballots, was the prestigious Uzbekistan State University of World Languages.
The Presiding officer was Mr. Bozorov Ixtiyor. Mr. Ixtiyor shared with us that 1,572 individuals had voted at this station. He further mentioned that contrary to other polling stations, he did not the play the recorded national anthem but he and his team gave a vocal rendition of the national anthem.
Tashkent City, 24 December 2019, the preliminary results of the elections to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, were announced by the Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Mr. Mirzo-Ulugbek Abdusalomov.
The results are as follows: –
- The Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan – 43 seats;
- Milliy Tiklanish Democratic Party – 35 seats;
- Adolat Social Democratic Party – 21 seats;
- People’s Democratic Party – 18 seats;
- Ecological Party – 11 seats.
No candidate was elected in 22 constituencies, due to none of them being able to obtain the required majority of votes. As a result, a run-off vote will be organized in two weeks in the constituencies concerned. The final results will be announced later.
The voters turnout was put at 71.1%. A minimum of 33% of those included in the voter lists is required to validate the results. Voting is not compulsory in Uzbekistan. It is also possible to vote by post.
The overall ambiance of the election day was one of calm and discipline. This serene mood and character, is perhaps befitting that of the hospitable Uzbek nation. The Uzbek electoral process took place smoothly and we have not learned of any anomalies.