Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
According to the “Law on Guarantees of Suffrage to Citizens” the president is elected by popular vote by a simple majority of votes cast. If no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of votes cast, a second round between the two leading candidates takes place within one month. There is a turnout requirement of 33 per cent for the first round to be valid, but no such requirement is in place for the second round. Citizens of at least 35 years of age, with an excellent command of the Uzbek language and having resided in the country for at least 10 years before Election Day, are eligible to stand as candidates.
The election is administered by a three-tiered election administration: the CEC, 14 District Election Commissions (DECs), and 9,060 PECs, including 44 PECs in diplomatic missions in 36 countries. The CEC is a permanent body, while the DECs and PECs are set up for each election. The CEC is responsible for overseeing the uniform implementation of the election legislation and clarifying its application in practice. Changes made to the Constitution in 2014 granted the CEC the status of a constitutional body and established independence, lawfulness, collegiality, transparency, and fairness as the guiding principles of its work.
Since independence the Republic of Uzbekistan has taken so many reforms for the further “Democratization of the Electoral System and Legislation”. It has had taken all possible measures to build a modern electoral system in the country in accordance with international standards. Over the years of independence due to consistent modernization of political, state and legal system has been created the national electoral system corresponding with the highest democratic requirements. It has already institutionalized gross-root political participation of common people in the decision making of the government through various elections in the country on regular basis. Proper legislation has further strengthened democratic principles of the election formed on basis of universally recognized international norms and principles.
The principles of freedom of choice and expression, primarily, the constitutional right of everyone to vote and be elected to representative bodies of state power serves as a basis of a national model of Uzbekistan’s statehood. Reforms in the sphere of election are systemic, coherent and interrelate. Moreover, giving the CEC status of the constitutional body, takes a special place in the system of state power, which provides practical preparation and holding of elections without any interference from other state bodies is an important guarantee of comprehensive support the democratic, open and transparent elections.
Regular holding of elections, i.e. election to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, regional, district and city Kengashes (Councils) of people’s deputies and the election of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan have reaffirmed importance of its modern electoral system. Their successfully conduct are important step in formation of state authorities, strengthening the democratic foundations of sovereignty of the people, the further development of the country along with building a law-governed state and strong civil society.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is a democratic country where civility prevails everywhere in the country. Elections are held on regular basis with accordance with international standards implemented in any Western Democracy. Every election is conducted with fair, free and transparent manners. People are free to cast their votes through a popular and direct voting pattern acceptable to any country of the world. People are highly politically motivated and socially articulated due to which voting turn-out ration even surpasses so many advanced democratic countries of the West. Every electoral activity is documented and relayed in mass media in the presence of so many international monitoring organizations and observers.
Majority of votes is a well-established democratic criterion which decides a “Winner” in any election which is supremely followed in Uzbekistan. Election campaign is carried out on the basis of equality, tranquility and without any prejudice where people tend to decide the winners. It is a people-democracy and not money-democracy where people honestly elect their members and President.
There is no hustle and bustle on the Election Day. Every electoral activity is executed through peaceful manner. Exhibition of arms, snatching of ballot papers and use of power which is one of the common features in so many democracies of South East Asia, Africa and Latin America is strictly prohibited. There is no pre or post engineered rigging in all the elections of Uzbekistan which clearly shows impartiality of its state and its important organs. Presidential Elections 2016 will be adhered on the principles of fair, free, openness and transparency.