Tana de Zulueta: A lot has changed in Uzbekistan

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (DNA) – A lot has changed in Uzbekistan. This assessment was given by the transformations in Uzbekistan by the head of the OSCE / ODIHR Mission, Cayetana De Zulueta Owtram, during a visit to the 882th polling station in Tashkent on 22 December.

Tana de Zulueta noted that the OSCE / ODIHR Mission, which arrived in Uzbekistan on 25 November, works throughout the country and works closely with the Central Election Commission. “We were granted full access and all the conditions for our work were created. For the first time in Uzbekistan, over 300 observers from both the ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, representing 37 countries participating in the Organization, observe the elections. In previous years, there were limits, but now this is not. This is good for the country and allows Uzbekistan to gain even more experience in ensuring transparency of elections,” the head of the OSCE / ODIHR Mission said.

Zulueta said that since 2015, when she headed the OSCE observer mission in the presidential election, a lot has changed in Uzbekistan. The Electoral Code was adopted. Today, OSCE observers monitor how code norms work in practice. She noted that in general, the elections in each country are different from each other, but the principle of elections is the same – citizens choose candidates.

The Head of the OSCE / ODIHR Mission emphasized that the Organization’s observers do not interfere in the election process, they only observe the voting and, if they see any violations of the law, they are included in the final report. At the same time, she informed that preliminary results of the observation will be presented at a press conference, which is scheduled for 23 December with the participation of the OSCE PA President G. Tsereteli.

“I also want to note that we will be present in Uzbekistan until 29 December. We will monitor the course of events after the election and monitor the moments that may affect something. Our final report will be published next year,” T. de Zulueta added.

Moreover, T. de Zulueta with great satisfaction told the media that she was honored to meet with President S. Mirziyoyev and personally see how important the election of the country’s parliament is for him and the people of Uzbekistan.

It should be noted that on 13 December an interim report from the OSCE / ODIHR Mission was published covering the period from 25 November to 10 December. It recognizes marked progress in improving the electoral law and electoral practice, states the efforts of the government to modernize the public and public administration system. On the whole, a positive assessment was given to the preparations for this important political event.

We remind you that during the 2019 parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan, the OSCE is represented for the first time by all key structures – the full-fledged ODIHR Mission, the Parliamentary Assembly and the ODIHR leadership represented by its director I. Gisladotir.

The decision to send two full-fledged missions (ODIHR and PA) to observe parliamentary elections by experts is seen as evidence of the OSCE’s recognition of the democratic reforms implemented in Uzbekistan, as well as the high interest of the international community in the electoral process as an important event in further strengthening the role and increasing the seat of parliament in managing the affairs of society and the state.