The principles of freedom of choice and will, and first and foremost, the constitutional right of everyone to elect and be elected in the representative bodies of the state, are embodied in the fundamentals of the national statehood model.
In each society elections are an important indicator of the extent of democratic nature of current laws in the country; an indispensable component of the democratic state with the rule of law, a major form of the expression of will by the people and their participation in state’s affairs.
As a result of steadfast and evolutionary modernization of the political, state and law system, an effective legislative and normative base of elections has been shaped in compliance with universally acknowledged norms and principles.
The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the foundation of the system of electoral legislation. Its Chapter 23 addresses the electoral system, and it contains a range of fundamental principles that guarantee an actual political pluralism.
The process of national electoral legislation’s evolution has been closely related with two principal phases of independent development of our nation.
1. During the first stage of the development of electoral system (1991-2000) a basic legal foundation for the formation of electoral bodies and the national statehood have been established. The legislation on elections was adopted that ensured the formation of a fundamentally new democratic electoral system. In addition, a number of other legislative acts have been enacted, including laws “On Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” (November 1991), “On Referenda of the Republic of Uzbekistan” (November 1991), “On Elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan” (December 1993), “On Elections to Regional, District and Municipal Kengashes (Councils) of People’s Representatives” (May 1994), “On Guarantees of Electoral Rights of Citizens” (May 1994), etc.
In accordance with the Law “On Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, the Central Election Commission has become an independent body tasked with practical implementation of democratic principles of the electoral system.
One should note that this legislation has been successfully tested by time, demonstrating legal feasibility and its practical value as well as effectiveness during elections. A wide range of efforts have been undertaken to streamline the electoral legislation. Here are some highlights: Firstly-consistent expansion of electoral rights of citizens and the elevation of the role of political parties in the formation of representative bodies of government.
Secondly--creation of an integrated, independent system of electoral commissions from downside up--from a precinct to the Central Election Commission.
Thirdly - ensuring openness, publicity and transparency of elections as well as equal of rights of all candidates.
2. The second phase of the evolution of the electoral system (from 2001 to the present) has been closely linked to the active democratic renewal and modernization of the country. As a result of the nationwide referendum held in January 2002 a professional bicameral parliament was introduced.
The development of electoral legislation was accompanied by the process of democratic reforms taking into consideration public opinion. A referendum on furthering reforms has been carried out and its outcomes gave a new impetus to the development of electoral legislation. A Constitutional Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan was adopted “On the Outcomes of the Referendum and Main Principles of the Arrangement of Government”, amendments and addenda were introduced to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The laws passed on the outcomes of the referendum led to the necessity in elaboration of a new edition of the Law “On Elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan”. It fixed the order of nominating candidates for the membership of the Legislative Chamber (the Lower House of Parliament) as well as the order for forming the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Uplifting the role of political parties in parliament by forming effective legislative base, liberalization and democratization of the electoral system and legislation on elections. The political parties’ role in the electoral process served as basis for the adoption of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Introduction of Amendments and Addenda to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan Due to the Improvement of Legislation on Elections” in 2008.
That reform of the electoral system ought to be considered as part of a general trend of measures being taken to further strengthen country’s civil society and multiparty political system.
Summarizing the abovementioned, one should point out some principal distinctive features of Uzbekistan’s electoral expertise.
- adherence of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Universally accepted norms in respecting human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests as well as fundamental principles of modern model of electoral systems has been reflected in current legislative acts and in practice;
- a new institution has been introduced into the electoral legislation--namely, the assignment of quotas in deputy seats. Fifteen deputy seats in the Legislative Chamber are allocated to a public-social organization--the Environmental Movement of Uzbekistan, to better address environmental issues;
- the process of registration of electorate is one of the important stages of the electoral process. A comprehensive state registration of voters has been put in place;
- the number of women should not be less than thirty percent of the total number of candidates nominated from political parties to the deputyship of representative bodies of government.
- a special role in the preparations and holding of elections is assigned to citizens’ self-governing bodies (mahalla) as a traditional democratic system of local self-government. In contrast to other institutions of civil society, the citizens’ self-governing bodies are entitled with such rights as to nominate candidates to deputyship in district and municipal Kengashes of People’s Representatives, to present candidates for the membership of precinct electoral commissions to the relevant district election commissions during elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis, regional, district and municipal Kengashes of People’s Representatives.
All-in-all, the process of evolution of the electoral legislation of Uzbekistan over the past 23 years clearly testifies that its coherent implementation has enable to advance in the country principles of freedom of choice and further promote democratization that fully correspond with universally accepted norms and principles.
이경식 기자 email@example.com
<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>