On October 8, mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) to observe the presidential elections in Uzbekistan made public interim report for the period from September 15 to October 5.
The OSCE/ODIHR deployed a mission to Uzbekistan on September 15. It consists of 11 specialists based in Tashkent. Since September 24, 28 long-term observers, distributed across all regions of Uzbekistan, have been meeting with representatives of political parties and local authorities.
Based on the results of these meetings, the ODIHR mission reports that the electoral authorities have complied with all procedural deadlines, that is, all planned events have been held in a timely manner on the set dates.
Based on the results of the meetings of ODIHR observers with representatives of public organizations, NGOs and others, the report states that there were no complaints from citizens related to the electoral process. It is stated that the CEC, territorial electoral or judicial bodies did not receive any complaints from the public.
Representatives of any political party, media and workers of mahallas have free admission to observe the elections. The Unified Electronic Voter List included about 21.2 million citizens. Voter registration in the country is carried out in a passive way. Apartment checks are being carried out.
The OSCE/ODIHR in its report focused on the media space in Uzbekistan, which is characterized by a large number of state and private media. The mission welcomes the improvement in the media climate that has emerged in recent years.
“Nonetheless, ODIHR EOM interlocutors also pointed out that many long-standing problems, such as intimidation and harassment of journalists and bloggers, as well as a restrictive legal environment for media regulation, continue to exist. Most ODIHR EOM interlocutors believe that both of these factors contribute significantly to the widespread phenomenon of self-censorship,” the report says.
The OSCE/ODIHR presidential election observation mission is in Uzbekistan at the invitation of the CEC of our country. The mission, led by Irish diplomat Owen Murphy, consists of a core team of 11 people, based in Tashkent since September 14, and 28 long-term observers deployed across the country since September 24. Mission members are recruited from 26 OSCE participating States. An additional 250 short-term observers from OSCE participating States are expected to arrive to observe the voting, vote counting and tabulation.