It all starts with mahallas
Polling station No. 677 in Chirchik (a city with 93 thousand inhabitants, 30 km from Tashkent) is located in the new building of the local makhalla. What it is, they explain in different ways: “Uzbek quarter”, community of residents of the quarter, gathering, etc. But in fact it is a community, preserved and alive. Which chooses its head and trusts him with everything that concerns pressing life problems – housing and communal services, improvement. And which the president trusts, delegating to her the right to determine who and what kind of social assistance is needed from the state.
The hall has been prepared for tomorrow’s voting. Cabins against the far wall without curtains – in accordance with anti-epidemiological requirements. In the center of the hall there is a transparent urn. The tables for members of the election commission and observers are covered with white tablecloths with gift flowers pinned at the corners – a very touching home detail in official decoration. This is because the makhalla – everything is done here with care and from the heart. Around there are five-storey buildings of the Soviet era, but the houses are neatly painted, the courtyards are well-groomed, the playgrounds and sports grounds are a pleasure to look at.
Chairman of the Election Commission Alisher Badrinov says that there are 2,780 voters at the polling station. The members of the commission clarified this with their feet – since September 14, when the campaign started, they conducted rounds of apartments. By the mood of the people, we realized that almost everyone would come. 49 people who for some reason cannot, voted early. And to 83 voters who find it difficult to reach the makhalla, the members of the commission will go home.
Another polling station is in the building of the University of Physical Education and Sports. Here tables are already without tablecloths, everything is businesslike. “We are practically spending the night here,” laughs Secretary of the Election Commission Umirkhan Azimova… “The closer the elections, the more work.”
The members of the election commission are also mostly employees of two makhallas, who know residents by sight and by name. They walked around 34 high-rise buildings, the final list – 2,043 voters. 166 will come to vote for the first time. They are waiting for gifts for their newcomers from the hokamiyat (regional government) to congratulate them tomorrow.
First the elections, then the wedding
In Uzbekistan, weddings take place one day, so they can appoint a celebration for Sunday. And the presidential elections in the republic were held on Sunday, October 24th. But the wedding is not an excuse for not participating. They came to the polling stations in pairs – the bride and groom cast their votes for their candidate, and then they got married.
Photos with newlyweds in wedding dresses at polling stations “scattered” on social networks. “A wedding is a wedding, and elections are scheduled,” one of them was signed from a site in the Namangan region.
Not a bad continuation of the tradition that has developed here, as in all countries of the former USSR: families go to the polls.
Lecturer at the Bukhara Medical Institute Shamsia Huseynova came to vote with her son and granddaughter. They agreed in advance that they would go together. “This is very important,” she says, “and the child must understand this. Moreover, in Uzbekistan now so much is being done for all of us, for everyone. “
Other families are approaching the 26th polling station in Bukhara, located in the building of the oil and gas college. And the question, why did they all decide to come together, causes surprise and bewilderment: “But what else?”
“This is a holiday for us,” explains the young mother. – And how to go to a holiday without a child?
Of the 2,703 voters, more than 1,700 had voted by 13:30. There is a traditional lull at lunchtime, and then a new revival is expected here.
At the 73rd site, located in the Bukhara branch of the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers, there was a queue at 9-10 in the morning, observing the requirements of social distance. And by 14:20 out of 1,723 voters, 1,180 had already dropped their ballots into the ballot boxes.
It was difficult to talk to voters, because the law prohibits, in the presence of other voters who have not yet voted, to disclose to whom they voted. And although the questions were asked about elections in general, people immediately switched to Mirziyoyevtelling how much is being done in the country thanks to him. They, of course, do not know that during his presidency, the country’s economy has grown by 24%, industrial production by 34%, exports by 1.5 times, and the volume of foreign investments by 3 times. But they see that their life is getting better.
And besides, they are faced with concrete examples when the intervention of the president restored justice. For example, private houses in Bukhara were demolished, on the site of which modern building began. We relocated people to apartments by paying a yearly rent. And then – whatever you want. Desperate, they turned to the president. As a result, both they and residents of other regions, who found themselves in a similar situation, received full fair compensation. And it is forbidden to demolish private houses from now on.
The president’s grievance portal is used by people to address a wide variety of problems, knowing that they will be resolved. A state body has also been created to protect their interests in various areas – so that the products on the shelves in the stores are of high quality, and that the hot water is not turned off, and so that the services correspond to those specified in the contract. The Consumer Rights Protection Agency has become the arbiter between people and sellers, manufacturers, utilities.
Political scientists, explaining the victory of Mirziyoyev, speak of the people’s support for his course. But there is more to it. The relationship between the people and the ruler, philosophers say, is akin to the relationship between children and a parent. The parent does not rule over his children, but is responsible for them. And when the people feel this responsibility, then there is harmony in the family and they do not need another parent.
You will not find fault
the 25th of October Chairman of the Central Election Commission Zainiddin Nizamhodzhaev announced the results of the presidential elections. International observers, who are usually very wary of high numbers, were not embarrassed by either the turnout of 80.8%, or the result of Shavkat Mirziyoyev – 80.1%. On the contrary, representatives of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE / ODIHR) noted the democracy, transparency and openness of the action. How can this be explained?
First, not long before that, Uzbekistan adopted the Electoral Code, which is quite consistent with the idea of elections that has developed in countries that are commonly called democratic.
Secondly, the CEC sessions were broadcast online. 207 polling stations were equipped with cameras, and the voting process there was also broadcast from 8:00 to 20:00 on election day on the election portal, the Uzbekistan24 TV channel, as well as in the building of the Central Election Commission and on a large monitor in the press center. And even bloggers were allowed to watch the counting of ballots.
Thirdly, all international observers (and these are 271 people) arrived in the country in advance, and everything here was open to them. Choose any polling station, communicate with any people, ask questions to any of the ministers. It was hard not to understand that there was a unity and agreement in society regarding the assessments of the present achieved under the current president, as well as the future that is associated with him.
In addition to them, journalists, including foreign ones, also observed the elections. Their number is a record for the country – 1,600 people.
And the list of presidential candidates itself – you can’t quibble. All five are representatives of the five officially operating parties: the democratic Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival), the People’s Democratic (PDPU), the Social Democratic Adolat (Justice), the Liberal Democratic (UzLiDeP), and the ecological one. That is, all the obligatory shades of the political spectrum are presented. In addition, there was a woman among the candidates. What’s more, the doctor Maksuda Varisova, now Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Health Protection of Citizens of the Legislative Chamber Oliy Majlis got the second result.
Head of the CIS Observer Mission Sergey Lebedev for his part, he noted “a very positive moment” – the absence of black PR and the war of compromising evidence. “It’s just nice when candidates convince voters of the benefits of their program, rather than throw mud at their opponents,” he said.
by the way
At a meeting with his supporters on October 25, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said: “We are no longer the people who lived here five years ago. Now we are a completely different nation – people who have proved to the whole world that they care about their future. And I will repeat once again: there is no longer a road to the past. Uzbekistan has one way – only forward ”.