The following article and picture materials have been provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed.
By Irismat Abdukhalikov, Political commentator of the National Information Agency of Uzbekistan
The Constitution is a guarantee of rights and freedoms, the foundation of a legal democratic state and a strong civil society. As is known, a state is judged by its Constitution – the Basic Law, according to which the country functions and its people learn, live, create and rest.
The Constitution of independent Uzbekistan was adopted on December 8, 1992, at a session of the Supreme Council of the country. Since then, the Basic Law of the country has been amended 15 times.
On March 26, 1995, at the referendum on extending the powers of the President until 2000, 99.6 percent of the corresponding population voted in favor. On January 27, 2002, another referendum was held on increasing the term of the presidency from five to seven years and introducing a bicameral parliament.
The last time President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took the initiative to amend the Constitution of the country in December 2021.
In general, 170 amendments are planned to be introduced to 66 articles of the Constitution.
In particular, it is proposed to:
– change the term of office of the President from five to seven years (Article 90);
– include an Article stating that a citizen of Uzbekistan “cannot be expelled from Uzbekistan or extradited to another state (Article 22);
– consolidate the ban on the death penalty in Uzbekistan (Article 24);
– to clarify that every person has the right to privacy, personal and family secrets, protection of his honor and dignity, personal data, freedom and secrecy of correspondence, conversations on the telephone and other telecommunications devices, postal and telegraphic correspondence and other communications (Article 27);
– add to the postulate that everyone has the right to the inviolability of their home, a ban on deprivation of their home except by a court decision (Article 27).
At the end of November, the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (parliament) decided to send the amendments for revision.
According to media reports, in the process of discussing amendments to the Constitution, a meeting of the committees of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, responsible for preparing a draft constitutional law “On introducing amendments and addenda to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, was held.
According to the parliament, a new article has been introduced, which provides for the tasks of the state to protect citizens from unemployment and take measures to reduce poverty. According to this article, the state organizes and encourages vocational training and retraining of citizens to ensure their employment.
The Constitution enshrines the norm according to which no one can be deprived of housing without a court decision and illegally. The owner deprived of his housing, in the cases and the manner prescribed by law, shall be compensated in advance and at an equal cost for the cost of his housing and the damage caused.
It will also be established that taxes and fees must be fair and not prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights. In addition, a norm is established, which will indicate that “a person holding the position of hokim cannot simultaneously hold the position of chairman of the corresponding council of people’s deputies”.
According to the Oliy Majlis, the amount of pensions, allowances and other social assistance provided for by law has been determined, which cannot be lower than the officially defined minimum consumer spending. The rule that citizens have the right to receive a guaranteed volume of medical care at the expense of the state is strictly fixed. In the coming days, it is planned to discuss the draft law with the participation of scientists, lawyers, and youth.
Great, very high hopes are placed on the new updated Constitution of Uzbekistan by its 36 million friendly, hardworking, multinational people, who took an active part in its renewal.
According to the draft law, more than 170 amendments have been proposed in 66 articles of the Constitution of Uzbekistan. The Constitutional Commission received more than 60,000 proposals. The indicators have grown 10 times compared to the development of the current Constitution. The work carried out by the Constitutional Commission should be highlighted, at the moment we can note “the unique Uzbek experience in carrying out constitutional reforms”. More than 50,000 citizens sent proposals to amend the country’s Basic Law.
In his congratulations on the occasion of the Constitution Day on December 8, 2022, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized that the Constitutional reform “is dictated by the essence and logic of the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan, the wishes and proposals of our people”. And that, “the protection of a person, his life, rights, freedoms, legitimate interests, honor and dignity of the individual as the highest value is at the center of our constitutional reforms”. “In this process, proposals, opinions and wishes expressed by people of different professions and social status will be taken into account. This is how our updated Basic Law will become a people’s Constitution”, the Head of state said.