The Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan held the following plenary session. Deputies discussed the draft law “On approval of the electoral Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
It was emphasized that the draft law introduced by deputies of the Lower House of Oliy Majlis was developed in accordance with the State Program “Year of supporting active entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and technologies” for implementing the Actions Strategy.
It is well known that this year, there will be an important political process in the country – elections for the parliament. At present, the country's electoral legislation is regulated by five laws. This creates some difficulties in applying the law. Moreover, most of the principles and procedures of election process and its procedures are regulated not by the law, but by the statutes and instructions of the Central Election Commission.
During preparation of the draft Election Code, the practical experience of more than 20 foreign countries in this field was thoroughly studied. In order to organize a public discussion of the draft Code, on July 19, 2018, Chambers of Oliy Majlis together with the Central Electoral Commission approved the Practical Actions Plan (“Roadmap”). According to it, the project was reviewed by public, experts, scientific circles, practitioners, specialists and international organizations. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Venice Commission, the CIS Executive Committee and other international organizations provided conclusions. The proposals, received at the international conference held in Bukhara on 16-17 November 2018, were discussed with the participation of international experts.
The project proposes to approve the Electoral Code of the country. This draft code, which envisages combining the norms outlined in the five existing laws, sets out a number of new rules as well.
In particular, the Institute for quota allocation to the representatives of the Ecological Movement for deputy seats at the Legislative Chamber is excluded. The procedure of nominating candidates to the district (city) Councils of People's Deputies by citizens' self-governing bodies is annulled. The law regulates the procedure for forming a single electoral list of voters. The term “ballot paper” is annulled by introducing a single ballot paper for voting ahead of time and voting on election day. The procedure for processing applications of individuals and legal entities on conducting election or other matters of organization shall be introduced. It is noted that during the process of collecting signatures by political parties, voters can support one or more candidates or parties. During voting, voters are given the option of putting one of the few signs. The precinct election commission's work (counting, drawing up a protocol, etc.) is clearly indicated after the voting is over.
In addition, it envisages creating single polling stations when elections to the Legislative Chamber and local councils are held at the same time. It is proposed to abolish the regulation on procedure for electing members of the Senate of Oliy Majlis, previously approved by the Central Election Commission, and to set this issue at the legitimate level.
Additionally, the norms limiting participation of persons who have committed socially dangerous and minor offenses are excluded. Pre-term voting is scheduled for 3 days prior to the election. It is envisaged to increase the number of authorized representatives of candidates to deputies of the regional Council of people's deputies from 3 to 5 people.
According to deputies, adoption of the Electoral Code creates a number of conveniences for practicing the right, fulfills the role of important legal basis for conducting democratic and transparent electoral process and its procedures in full legality.
This draft law was adopted in the first reading.