Parliamentary elections kick off in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Materials 21 December 2014 05:01 (UTC +04:00)
The elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis – lower house of Uzbek parliament – and local authorities kicked off in Uzbekistan on Dec.21.
Parliamentary elections kick off in Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dec.21

By Demir Azizov- Trend:

The elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis - lower house of Uzbek parliament - and local authorities kicked off in Uzbekistan on Dec.21.

The polling stations throughout the whole country opened at 06:00 (UTC/GMT +5 hours) and they will operate till 20:00 (UTC/GMT +5 hours). Under the country's law, the elections are considered valid if the voter turnout equals 33 percent.

It was earlier reported that the election campaign for the parliamentary elections started on Sept.15. Some 135 constituencies, for an average of 154,000 voters in one district, 9,035 polling stations (including 44 polling stations at Uzbekistan's representative offices in other countries) have been created in accordance with the requirements of the election law.

Precinct election commissions have made the complete lists of voters - a total of 20,789,572 citizens. Note, the country's total population nears 31 million.

All the voters have been informed about the place and date of voting. The voters which are not able to be in the place of residence on the voting day, were given the right of early voting on Dec.11-19.

Four political parties operating in the country were allowed to take part in the elections.

These are the Liberal Democratic Party, People's Democratic Party, the Democratic Party Milly Tiklanish (National Revival), and the Social Democratic Party Adolat (Justice).

Each of these parties have submitted to the Central Elections Commission (CEC) the required number of subscription lists of voters (at least 40,000) supporting their participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The nomination of candidates for MPs by parties started on Oct.17 and their registration was completed on Nov.15 when the start of the pre-election campaign was announced. During the pre-election campaign, the parties presented their campaign platforms and encouraged to support their candidates through the media, meetings with voters and other forms of campaigning.

Some 535 candidates from the parties are running for a total of 135 seats at the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis as of Dec.20. Another 15 MPs from the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan will be elected at a conference on Dec.21.

Women account for 31.8 percent of the total number of registered candidates for MPs, representatives of the education sphere - 26.5 percent, industrial sphere - 20.2 percent, economists - 20.8 percent, jurists - 14.2 percent, health care workers - 10.1 percent, according to CEC. Only 13.8 percent of the candidates were previously elected MPs.

The transparency and openness of the elections are ensured by the institute of observers.

Currently, the missions of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), CIS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Association of World Election Bodies, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other international organizations are operating in Uzbekistan.

In addition, the CEC registered about 300 observers from nearly 35 countries of the world, issued mandates to more than 70,000 observers and authorized representatives of political parties participating in the election. Over 340 representatives of the national and foreign media will take part in covering the elections.

The preliminary results will be announced on Dec.22.

Uzbekistan's bicameral parliament was created in 2005. Its legislative chamber permanently employs 150 MPs from four political parties and the Uzbek Ecological Movement. They were elected in Dec. 2009 for a five-year period.

The parliament's upper house, known as the Senate, employs 100 MPs elected in equal numbers, i.e. six MPs from the Karakalpakstan Republic, regions and the city of Tashkent.

Aside from that, the Uzbek president appoints 16 members of the Senate from among the most distinguished citizens.