Uzbek electoral legislation to be amended

Uzbek electoral legislation to be amended

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Nov. 3 / Trend D. Azizov /

The members of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis (lower house of the Uzbek parliament) adopted amendments to the laws on "Elections to Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan" and "Elections to the regional, district and city councils of people's deputies" at the plenary session on Friday. They are related to further ensuring the freedom of choice and the development of the electoral legislation, the Legislative Chamber said.

The bill was prepared on the basis of the concept of further intensifying the democratic reforms and forming the civil society. It aims to democratize the electoral system, to ensure transparency and openness of the electoral processes, to increase efficiency of the election campaign and election commissions' activity.

In particular, the election campaign fixed in the legislation is important in the context of strengthening a multi-party system, tightening the inter-party competition, emerging the diverse and extensive forms and methods of the election campaign. The norms are aimed at ensuring equal conditions for the candidates to MPs.

The election campaign is defined as the activity carried out during the election campaign and aimed at encouraging the voters to vote for a candidate for MP or a political party. This corresponds to the legal practice in the most developed democratic countries

Moreover, the norms governing the coverage of the election campaign in the private media outlets have been specified. Their intensification will ensure more transparency and openness of the elections, the election campaign and the policy of reforms taken into account the pluralism of opinions.

According to the bill, the terms of payment for air time and other requirements must be equal and the same for all candidates for MPs and political parties.

The legislation is planned to be supplemented by such rules as banning the election campaign not only on election day, but the day before the voting, banning the publication of the results of opinion polls, forecasts of election results and other topics related to the ongoing elections.

The bill has also clearly determined the terms, order and procedures for early voting, the formation of the polling stations in prisons, as well as ensuring the rights of observers to attend the conference of the Uzbek Ecological Movement. This must serve to ensure more openness and transparency of electing the deputies of this movement.

The bill will be submitted to the Senate of Oliy Majlis for approval. It is expected that the upper house of the parliament will consider the law in late November - early December.

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