By Ansar M Bhatti in Tashkent
TASHKENT, DEC 22 (DNA) Hundreds of Uzbek people on Sunday thronged to polling stations to cast their votes in parliamentary and local government elections.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also cast his vote along with family.
The Uzbek Central Election Commission had made elaborate arrangements in order to facilitate people so that they could exercise their right in a free and fair manner.
International observers who came to Uzbekistan from various countries also visited polling stations and witnessed the polling process.
Ms. Roza Kushanbayeva the Director of the Polling Station No 561 located in the outskirts of Tashkent told DNA news agency that people started coming to her polling station from early morning.
She said this area is densely populated therefore we expect a high turnover. She said young people are coming in large numbers, which is a clear manifestation of great interest of youth in the electoral exercise.
She further said that they had made special arrangements for those who could not come to the polling station because of illness or other problems.
She said staff of the polling station went to their houses and facilitated them in casting their votes for parties of their choice.
Baymuratov Tursunbay the incharge of the polling station 764 in Yunusabad district also briefed the foreign observer about the polling process.
Mr. Tursunbay has twice visited Pakistan. He told he visited Karachi to take part in a conference.
Observers from Pakistan also visited various polling stations in various cities of Uzbekistan and witness the process.
They termed the whole process exemplary. They observed that the polling was very well organised, disciplined and transparent. People of all walks of life and various ages participated enthusiastically.
General mode was full of passion of national duty and zeal. It has actually transformed Uzbekistan into new stage of sustainable development in terms of politics, economics, civility, governance and rule of law.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, together with family members, arrived at polling station No. 162 of Mirzo Ulugbek district of Tashkent city and took part in voting.
Article 117 of the Constitution enshrines the right of citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan to elect and be elected to representative bodies of the state. The right to vote, equality and freedom of expression are guaranteed by law.
Five political parties took part part in the elections – the Milliy Tiklanish Democratic Party, the People’s Democratic Party, the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the Social Democratic Party Adolat and the Ecological Party.
This important socio-political event took place under the slogan “New Uzbekistan – New Elections”, in conditions of increased political activity of citizens and in accordance with the new election legislation.
For the first time in the history of Uzbekistan, the Electoral Code was adopted, which systematized the norms of 21 election laws. A single electronic voter list has been introduced. The quota institute has been canceled. Equal conditions for healthy competition have been created for all five political parties, including the new Ecological Party of Uzbekistan.
Open electoral debates of political parties were broadcast live. Issues concerning the society were discussed.
In recent years, as a result of a policy of openness and democratic transformations, as the current elections clearly show, our society has changed. Citizens of Uzbekistan with a sense of confidence and involvement in the fate of the country come to polling stations and vote for the future.
The Head of the state talked with citizens who arrived at polling station No. 162, photographed with them. He wished success to young people voting for the first time, and excellent marks to children who came with their parents.
Representatives of the older generation expressed wishes for peace and tranquility in the country, good health to the President.
At the election venues, all conditions provided for by national legislation are created. 6 720 constituencies and 10 315 polling stations were created for citizens to vote in the current election, including 55 polling stations in 38 countries. Moreover, the right to vote was received by persons in places of deprivation of liberty who did not commit serious crimes.
Over 800 foreign and international observers took part in the election observation, including missions of the CIS, SCO, EBRD, Hague Conference on Private International Law, Turkic Council, TurkPA, as well as the full-fledged mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also spoke with foreign observers and representatives of the media. They noted that the elections are held openly, at a high organizational level, with a high socio-political activity of citizens.=DNA