The Uzbekistan presidential elections came and went. H.E. Ambassador Dilyor Khakimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Brussels organized a round table conference “Presidential election in Uzbekistan, results and assessments”
The round table conference offered election observers the opportunity to report and assess their findings of the presidential election. The overall view of the observers is that voting took place in a calm and relaxed mood, there were no reports of anomalies. The atmosphere that reigned was one of a family’s day out.
The round table conference, Mr. Ravshan Mamatov, Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Uzbekistan was the moderator of the conference. Attendees included:
– Mr. Gaspard Cratsborn, Committee Member, International Relations, JOVD, The Hague.
– Diplomat Magazine, Publisher Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Editor Mr. Roy Lie Atjam Editor.
– Mr. Jan Leendert Reinhard, Let’s Discover company.
– Diplomatic World, Barbara Dietrich, CEO. Mr. Alberto Turkstra, Project Manager.
– Mr. Axel Goethals is CEO of the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), a leading think tank, focusing on EU-Asia relations, along with some other persons.
According to Ambassador Dilyor Khakimov, observers didn’t signal major issues or irregularities.
One observer approached an individual who indicated not to cast his vote but felt very pleased with the freedom of choice.
Another observer suggested to have more grassroot initiatives, to create some space for young people hence they will not alienate from politics. There are still barriers that should be taken down.
Furthermore, an observer at the conference proposed to reduce the number of voting hours. He said the scores of polling stations had to wait for many hours before they could proceed to the counting of ballot papers. He went on to mention the option of voting by proxy to be considered and that mobile box voting should be improved. Details as the folding of the ballot papers was also raised.
All in all, the observers were pleasantly surprised by the orderly manner in which the election was conducted.
Remarks from an international monitoring mission led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on October 25 that, despite some movement in the ongoing reforms, the election was “not truly competitive.” Despite the absence of significant competition, voter turnout was strong at 80.8%.
Meanwhile, observer missions from the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Turkic Council and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization said the voting was fair, transparent, and without major violations.
Under Mirziyoyev, freedom of speech has expanded compared with the suppression of the Karimov era. In addition, some independent news media and bloggers have appeared. Mirziyoyev also relaxed the tight controls that Karimov imposed to counter dissident views on Islam in the predominantly Muslim country.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was officially inaugurated for his second term on 6 November 2021. The ceremony took place at the senate building in a joint session of both chambers of the Parliament.
The President will have to face Uzbek society’s growing expectations for more political freedoms.
The round table conference concluded with a networking reception and a degustation of Uzbek delicacies.