At exactly 8 am local time, the national anthem sounded at all 10,760 polling stations in Uzbekistan in 14 constituencies of the republic. Members of the election commissions listened to him while standing, after which they opened the doors for voters. And it began …
In the East, by tradition, they try to start everything early in the morning. Therefore, by 8 o’clock, small queues had accumulated at the polling stations. Middle-aged Uzbeks were the first to bring their old people. The older generation has taken elections seriously since Soviet times.
“Today we are electing a president who will rule the country for the next 5 years,” says Professor of the Institute of Irrigation and Melioration Numon Igamberdiev… – As the current president says, the people should live well today, not tomorrow. I would like to believe that whoever comes to power will not forget these words. We actually need to improve a lot in the country. We need new homes for newlyweds, new kindergartens and clinics for their children. We need new universities so that the country grows its own engineers, economists, diplomats. By the way, Russia helps a lot in this matter. In recent years, we have opened branches of your universities such as Moscow State University, MGIMO, Mining University, University of Oil and Gas … Here in Central Asia we are building an open democratic state so that young people do not go to Russia for a long ruble, but can earn his long sum (Uzbek currency – AiF.) at home ”.
Elections: Uzbek accent
In Uzbekistan, voting in the era of a pandemic in terms of complexity resembles a list of procedures that an astronaut must complete before entering the descent vehicle:
- put on a mask
- to measure the temperature
- disinfect hands
- keeping a distance, receive a ballot and sign for it, keeping the same distance
- fill in the ballot paper and, without touching the ballot box with your hands, express your civic position;
- leave the polling station without accumulating more than one at the exit.
The voting procedure in Uzbekistan is somewhat different from that in Russia. For example, if you decide to vote at a site other than your own, no absentee ballot is required. You can go to any site, if you are on a business trip or visit relatives, and vote. His staff will contact your site and resolve issues online.
The problem with the citizens of Uzbekistan living in Russia was solved simply. Early voting with the help of the Russian side was organized in 48 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. 120 thousand people voted ahead of schedule. On election day, voting took place as usual at the embassy in Moscow and 6 consulates of Uzbekistan across the country.
This fall, Uzbekistan experienced a real influx of international observers. There were more than 970 of them, from 47 countries of the world, and they represent 21 organizations. The CIS delegation is headed by executive secretary of this organization Sergey Lebedev, formerly head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. For Uzbekistan, he is not a stranger – he was born here in the city of Jizzakh.
“Our delegation has 162 observers, we work throughout the country,” says Lebedev. – In general, we have a positive impression of the elections in Uzbekistan. The process is well organized, it is felt that there is a good turnout. There are many young people at the polling stations, including those voting for the first time. I consider the presidential elections in Uzbekistan fair and open. For the first time in the history of the country, a woman participates in them. By the way, during the election campaign such phenomena as “black PR” and the war of compromising evidence were completely absent. I can tell you that the country’s Central Election Commission has already recognized the elections as valid. At 11 am, the turnout exceeded the required 33% of voters. ”
Oddly enough, she largely agreed with her Russian counterpart. Head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Observer Mission Daniela de Ridder: “42 teams of observers work for us at the elections. They visited Tashkent, Kokand, Samarkand, Bukhara and other cities. I can say that democratic changes are noticeable in Uzbekistan. Observers from all political parties registered in the country are present at the polling stations ”.
by the way
Farmon Toshchev, Chairman of the Election Commission of Samarkand and editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Samarkandskiy Vestnik”:
“The most important thing that has happened in Uzbekistan over the past 5 years is that fear has gone from society. If we talk about the media: in newspapers, on radio and television, you can express any point of view without fear for your future. Criticism of the authorities, from the regional to the state, is not prohibited either. The only limitation on freedom of speech in Uzbekistan is the Law on Libel. It is clear that the authorities in any country are tempted to use concepts such as slander and defamation (dissemination of true, but defamatory information about a person – the AIF) as a club against the media. But I have no information yet that something like this took place in our country. “