Uzbekistan on eve of presidential election
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, March 28
By Demir Azizov - Trend:
There is a day of silence today in Uzbekistan, on the eve of the year's biggest even - the presidential election. The selected president will rule the country for the next five years.
Yesterday the election campaign of candidates nominated for the post of president was wrapped up.
As previously reported, candidates from four political parties are to participate in the upcoming election. They are incumbent President Islam Karimov from the Liberal Democratic Party, the member of the parliamentary faction, chairman of the committee for democratic institutions, NGOs and citizens' self-government bodies, Akmal Saidov - from the National Democratic Party Milly Tiklanish; the chairman of the Central Council of the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDPU) Hotamzhon Ketmonov - from the PDPU, the chairman of the executive committee of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Adolat, Narimon Umarov - from SDP.
According to the country's CEC, 135 electoral districts, 9,058 thousands of polling stations, including 44 - with offices in Uzbekistan abroad, have been established for the election. Over 340 representatives of local and foreign media will cover the election.
To observe the preparation for the election and the election itself, more than 300 international observers, including those from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, OSCE, CIS, other international organizations, and other states.
During the pre-election campaign, in accordance with the CEC's rules, all the candidates were allowed to have equal rights for using the media channels on TV, radio. Each candidate was given 900 minutes of free air time. The candidates' pre-election programs were planned to be published in the country's "Khalk Suzi", "Nation's word" and "Truth of the East".
All the candidates and their agents in all the regions of the country met with voters, to which they presented their electoral programs and their vision of socioeconomic development of Uzbekistan.
According to a number of international and national experts, all candidates are committed to the democratic development of the country, of the continuation of large-scale socioeconomic reforms and structural transformation of the economy and increase its competitiveness, to further enhance the people's welfare.
High voter turnout at the recent year-end parliamentary elections showed that the majority of the citizens of Uzbekistan are also pinning their hopes on these principles. Therefore, there is confidence that the people of Uzbekistan tomorrow will make their only right choice.
Demir Azizov is Trend Agency's staff journalist