ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT SHAVKAT MIRZIYOYEV AT THE SOLEMN CEREMONY DEDICATED TO THE 27TH ANNIVERSARY OF ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

Етакчи саноат тармоқларидаги лойиҳалар тақдимоти ўтказилди - Пандемиядан кучли бўлиб чиқишнинг бирдан бир йўли – кичик бизнес ва тадбиркорликка қулай муҳит яратиш - Jizzax va Samarqand viloyatlarining o‘sish nuqtalari belgilandi - National Human Rights Strategy of Uzbekistan has been approved - Geology of Uzbekistan after Covid-19: measures and perspectives - Uzbekistan aims to end cotton pledge - Changes to the territorial structure of the capital districts and Tashkent region considered - Condolences to the President of Lebanon - To secure justice in social protection system - ЎЗБЕКИСТОН РЕСПУБЛИКАСИНИНГ ҲИНДИСТОНДА ВАҚТИНЧА БЎЛИБ ТУРГАН ФУҚАРОЛАРИ ДИҚҚАТИГА! - Turkey begins filming “Jaloliddin Manguberdi” - Samarkand to host Web Forum on Human Rights - Visas for foreign citizens in Uzbekistan to be extended until November 1 - О дополнительных мерах по материальной поддержке слоев населения, нуждающихся в помощи и социальной защите в период коронавирусной пандемии - Коронавирус пандемияси даврида ижтимоий ҳимояга ва ёрдамга муҳтож аҳоли қатламларини моддий қўллаб-қувватлашга доир қўшимча чора-тадбирлар тўғрисида - Прямые выплаты получат свыше 400 тысяч семей

Assalamu-alaykum, dear compatriots!

Dear guests!

Ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, allow me sincerely congratulate all of you and our entire nation on the 27th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan and express my best wishes to you.

Dear friends!

As each and every state chooses its path of sovereign path of progress, it enshrines the major goals and objectives, which serve for ensuring the people’s prosperity, in its Main Law – the Constitution.

Since, the country which has a Constitution which goes in harmony with wills and intentions, innermost dreams and aspirations of its people will always strive towards set higher frontiers not deviating and standing steadfast along the road.

If we look at history then we see that spiritual-moral norms and natural rights of human formed through the centuries as a result of civilization processes took a shape of Constitution.

For the first time in the life of humanity Constitution celebrated as a high value such human rights as to live free and independent, possess a property, obtain education, engage in labor, elect and be elected, as well as freedom of speech and consciousness.

Our Constitution adopted in the early days of our independence has clearly stipulated mutual rights and obligations and their guarantees in the relationships of society and state.

Our Main Law has emphasized the guaranteed equality of citizens of our country irrespective of their sex, race, nationality, religion and social background and created solid ground for modern democratic progress.

It is therefore that we should endear our Constitution, thoroughly learn it, follow it and imbibe the great heritage of our ancestors and universal values to the hearts of our youth.

Dear fellow countrymen!

Our glorious ancestor Amir Temur used to say the following: “If a state is not founded on laws, it will have neither fame and power, nor integrity”.

From this point of view, Constitution and ensuring rule of law are considered to be the core standards of the law-governed democratic state which we are building.

The result of any reforms as well as main guarantor of peace and progress is immediately related to Constitution and ensuring rule of law.

The rule of law means that documents issued by bodies of state power and governance and activities of officials must surely be in line with Constitution and laws.

Therefore, we must create the environment in which the cadres of all levels – whether they are ministers, governors or an ordinary person should thoroughly know Constitution and laws, properly ensure their implementation and, in the first place, these rules must be strictly abided by members of entire society.

I believe we need to pay our special attention to the following issues to ensure that such a notion as “Constitution and rule of law are a guarantor of prosperous life” be strongly imbibed to the minds and hearts of our citizens and turn it to a social objective.

First, it is especially pressing to ensure effective execution of laws, foresee systemic problems and create a system to address consequences of infringement of law and timely prevent such cases.

Unfortunately, we cannot say that these requirements are fully met in our country.

This year alone more than 70 laws, over 350 presidential decrees and resolutions were adopted.

These normative documents are passed for whom and what for?

Certainly, they are passed to ensure our people’s prosperity.

For example, it has passed seven months since we adopted a Law “On Public and Private Partnership” which serves as a main condition to provide for cardinal development of our economy.

We have worked for long a time in drafting this law – the long-awaited law required by life itself.

This document is an effective mechanism of exercising a constitutional right of citizens in terms of how state and society are implementing their tasks.

At present, the projects based on public-private partnership are started to be implemented in some branches of our economy.

However, we are not observing any initiative in this regard in such spheres and areas as healthcare, public education, transport, road construction and public utility services.

If a minister or governor doesn’t understand the essence of the law and doesn’t show initiative to implement it into life, then it will be difficult to push for our reforms ahead and bring about in people any initiative.

Such appalling exemplary cases as engaging in construction works without permission in the areas under crops, disorderly demolishing buildings and facilities in the regions demonstrate about poor supervision over execution of laws.

Therefore, the Parliament, Government and Ministry of Justice must use effective mechanisms of ensuring execution of laws being passed in the country.

In this regard, the primary attention must be paid to training cadres and raising qualifications, distributing legal information to masses through modern methods, drafting standards to evaluate officials in terms of their knowledge and use of laws.

Second, there is no better tool as public control in ensuring Constitution and rule of law.

The great Greek scholar Plato used to say as follows: “If people feel need in laws and learn them thoroughly, it will be just of use for them. Otherwise, no goal will be reached pursued by law”.

Indeed, if our people won’t be intolerant towards infringement of law, it will be difficult to ensure rule of law – no matter what efforts will be rendered by state bodies and officials in this regard.

Today our public has woken up. Now our people are learning to directly evaluate the work and activities of various-level officials and freely express their opinions.

This year the state budget was widely scrutinized and passed in the atmosphere of openness and transparency.

It was able to concretely see where to and how various ministries and agencies will spend each and every soum.

Based on the opinions of our citizens and lawmakers, additional funds in the amount of 50 billion Uzbek soums were allocated through cutting down budget expenditures to procure the school-desks, black-boards and computers.

We need to especially emphasize that such positive example is taking place for the first time in our experience.

Most of you are well-aware that recently moratorium was announced against massive cutting of trees and this case may serve as an example to what extent the public opinion has had a powerful impact on such decision.

All of these examples show how our people’s responsibility and feeling of involvement to social processes is growing.

Along with this, we should not allow public control to turn into a “one-way traffic”.

The state bodies should consider critical opinion not only towards citizens, but also with regard to themselves with fairness and objectivity.

The resolutions in terms of changing the look of our towns and villages, construction and betterment issues must be initially discussed among the population in a pertaining territory and held through public scrutiny.

I would like to draw your attention to another following issue.

According to law, the courts are independent in their activities but people should be their real supervisor.

The courts and investigative bodies upon collective requests of citizens must give explanations and legal commentaries in terms of verdict issued on a case.

We must clearly understand the following: the public control is not only supervision over activities of states bodies, but rather a self-governance method of society, and otherwise speaking, it is one of the important aspects of developing a civil society.

Therefore, next year the Advisory council for civil society development, Center for civil society development and National Association for non-state non-profit organizations should lead and initiate the efforts to elaborate an effective mechanism of exercising public control in each and every sphere and branch.

The public control must be introduced in the first place in the spheres of law-enforcement and supervisory bodies, finances, banking, education, healthcare, public utilities, energy and transport.

Besides, such issues as quality of products and services in the markets and trading facilities should also be under permanent public control.

Third, it is necessary that mass media should turn into a true “mirror of society” in terms of discussing the lawfulness.

In this regard, we should note that the reforms aimed at ensuring freedom of mass media are among the most important transformations which have fully changed the life of our society for over the last three years.

The representatives of independent and fair mass media are now the greatest power which while being in the depth of people touch on pressing social problems.

As a result of our democratic reforms, mass media and social networks serve for the fact that officials should lead their work in line with law.

Each state body has its press service to actively and promptly inform the population about their activities.

Indeed, in democratic society all state officials must learn social partnership and how to cooperate with mass media.

As a matter of fact, the Internet, social networks and bloggers are now playing a major role in shaping public opinion alongside with traditional mass media.

With a view of making the principles of openness and transparency established in state building and social construction, and other spheres, we must ensure in practice realization of constitutional norms which envisage the right of citizens to freedom of speech, seeking and distributing information.

Above all, this requires of us further improving legislation about mass media and today we are carrying out active work in this direction.

In this regard, everyone must fully realize that both public control and mass media pursue one goal – so that the people’s life could become better.

Each state body must have its account in social networks and when necessary to inform the audiences on daily basis about their work.

I reiterate once again: we shall not allow in Uzbekistan to pressure public control, violate lawful rights of the representatives of mass media in any form.

Fourth, the laws being adopted shall be effective only when they will be consonant with ongoing reforms. This is the truth. This is an axiom.

However, unfortunately, not all laws meet requirements of time. Therefore it is our priority task to create mechanism of implementation of laws on systemic basis.

Starting from next year the Ministry of Justice should begin using absolutely new methods of work on renewing and systematization of legislation.

The norms of our Constitution must serve as a main legal basis in this work.

Fifth, whatever perfect laws we might draft, whatever reforms we might carry out, if our citizens won’t have enough legal knowledge and awareness, we cannot achieve the expected results.

The words uttered by legal scholars several centuries ago that “comprehension of rights raises feeling of responsibility” never loses its urgency.

In other words, respect for Constitution and laws, legal awareness must become a rule of life and criterion of work for each citizen and every official person.

However, do we all now have sufficient level of such legal responsibility? Unfortunately, we cannot give a positive answer to this question yet.

For example, our people revere bread cultivated by diligent labor of dekhqans (peasants) as a great and precious bounty. The dekhqans and farmers which create plenty and well-being in our life are those who realize this truth better than all.

I am very pleased to see today deserved representatives of agrarian sphere in this beautiful hall.

This year professional holiday of the workers of agriculture is celebrated the same day with the 27th anniversary of the Main Law of our country which gives a special significance to it.

Taking this opportunity, allow me on your behalf and on my personal behalf to congratulate all dekhqans and farmers of Uzbekistan and express them my deepest respect.

I want to especially emphasize: our able dekhqans and their noble work are as dear to all of us as bread made by their kind hands.

Indeed, our grandfathers, who have suffered all hardships of war and postwar destruction, had always taught us to take care of bread as an apple of an eye.

Thus, when we will learn at last to value the great bounty of Almighty God and positive changes in our life and teach young generation about it?

What we need to hide? For a long time it was habit for us to act bypassing the law in tackling many problems of life such as entering the higher educational institution, obtaining permit or license to start business, paying taxes. Therefore, no matter how difficult it would be, we are consistently working to eradicate this negative phenomenon.

In particular, the procedure of enrolling kids to kindergartens through putting onto an electronic queue, the open and transparent system of enrolment to schools and entrance to the institutions of higher learning were introduced. Also, more than 100 types of state services are rendered based on the practice of one-stop shop.

However and unfortunately, yet it is early to speak about that thanks to such changes our society has fully gotten rid of shortcomings and facts of negligence to law. We need to openly admit that many people remain careless to this issue.

Isn’t it the biggest obstacle on the path of our reforms?

Some our citizens request responsible attitude on the part of state bodies by forgetting about their own responsibilities and obligations before state and society, before the law.

Indeed, the process of renewal of Uzbekistan, taking it to a newer level of national development is not taking place easily, just for itself.

All of you are seeing that, no matter how difficult and hard it is, now we are finding strength, capabilities and means and realizing large programs and projects. We are building many new enterprises, roads and bridges, kindergartens, schools and hospitals, culture and sports facilities, many housings and I hope we will expand this work in the future.

There is a saying among people that “two palms of a hand make a clap”. If to think about it – these wise words are fully consonant with norms of our Constitution in which alongside with rights and freedoms of citizens there are also their obligations.

Our esteemed aksakals (the elderly), activists, dear women, intelligentsia and young generation are comprehensively supporting today’s reforms and selflessly taking part in them, and this fills me with strength and energy.

Taking this opportunity, from the bottom of my heart I express my special gratitude to you and our entire nation.

I am confident that if we will continue to preserve our peaceful and tranquil life, cherish mutual respect and accord in our society, the Almighty God will always help and support our people.

Dear friends!

We need to continue the work on raising the legal consciousness and legal awareness in the society.

It is expedient to start legal upbringing with preschool education, while imbibing initial legal knowledge to our kids as much as with mother’s cradle song.

Our Constitution must become a true code of life norms and rules for us, which fully ensures all the rights and freedoms, and which must be thoroughly studied by each and every citizen.

We need to elaborate the scientifically justified program on extending legal awareness for each sphere and direction, for all of the stages of education.

In this, it is necessary to pay attention to studying our Constitution. I deem it necessary writing in Uzbekistan such books as “The ABC of Constitution”, “Lessons of Constitution” and “Basics of Constitution”. The ministries of justice, preschool education, higher and secondary special education shall be responsible to carry out this task.

In training teachers on this topic a special significance will be raising the level of political and legal knowledge, as much as their spirituality.

Along with this, the new TV shows and series, motion films and theatrical performances which tell about recovering justice and lawful rights of person will also play an important role in terms of such upbringing.

As a whole, the people who fight for the victory of law and justice must become heroes of today. I believe that the life of such personalities will serve as leitmotif for the works of poets and writers, directors and journalists.

Dear fellow countrymen!

Ensuring rights and freedoms, respect of dignity of each person is major priority of open, free and just society which we are building now. This extraordinarily important principle is stipulated in the Preamble of our Main Law.

In the Constitution of Uzbekistan the people are identified as a sole source of state power, and certainly, there is a deep essence in this.

These key provisions mean that in our county the democracy is based on universal values and the state carries out its activity for the sake of human and for the good of society.

The confirmation for the aforementioned fact is as follows: the positive decisions were taken on over 510 thousand out of more than 880 thousand appeals of citizens which were filed this year to the People’s reception offices.

In this regard, I would like to once again remind all leading personnel.

Let us never forget that our main task is to satisfy our nation, each and every citizen, who have put their hope and confidence in us and elected us as their leaders.

If people are pleased with us – the Almighty will also bestow blessings upon us.

It is not for nothing that a human being, his life, freedom, honor, dignity and other inalienable rights are enshrined in our Constitution as supreme values.

We have firm political will and sufficient capabilities to implement this rule in practice. To this end we need to perform the following tasks in the first place.

First, we need to have our National Strategy in order to enhance the efficiency of ensuring human rights.

You are well aware that in recent years we have been carrying out an extensive work in our country in this regard.

The laws “On personal data”, “On protecting the victims, witnesses and other participants of a criminal proceeding” were adopted this year alone.

Along with this, the ILO’s Forced Labor Convention and Labor Inspection Convention were ratified.

This reflects our firm and unwavering position in terms of combating forced labor.

In recent years, 8 decrees were adopted on granting pardon to persons who committed crimes and over 4 thousand persons were released from penal facilities.

As a logical continuation of these works, the other day I have signed yet another decree.

Under the document, 92 prisoners who have sincerely repented of their criminal activity and returned to the path of correction will be granted pardon and return to life in freedom.

The fact that this year we have closed the Jaslyk penal colony became a practical example of such humanistic policy.

A procedure of payment of pensions and providing social insurance to convicts has been put in practice for the first time.

As a result, 709 pension-age convicts, who are serving their sentence in a penal colony settlement, receive their pension.

Rectifying our past error, we made a first step to ensure the right of this category of citizens to receive a pension, which is enshrined in the Constitution.

This year we have successfully accomplished “Mekhr-1” and “Mekhr-2” humanitarian missions.

Within these missions 261 citizens, mainly women and children, were returned to our country from the battlefields in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

They have been provided with necessary medical care and material assistance.

Speaking about ensuring human rights, I would like to underline that for over the last three years 9 thousand 692 of our compatriots were granted the citizenship of Uzbekistan, including 5 thousand 868 of them this year alone.

However, we have a lot to accomplish in this area.

Above all, we need to develop the foregoing National Strategy and consistently pursue our policy in this direction based on this Strategy.

The Strategy must clearly set the mechanisms for enacting constitutional principles related to human rights and freedoms.

We need to raise the awareness in the area of respect for human rights and freedoms, thereby yet enhancing the international profile of our country.

I believe the time has come to create a continuous human rights education system within the National Strategy and introduce “Human rights”, “Rights of the child”, “Women’s rights” special courses at schools, universities and centers of advanced training of personnel.

Second, we must turn the law enforcement bodies into the agencies faithfully serving the interests of the people and only people.

In the recent three years, a system of protecting victims, witnesses and other participants of a criminal proceeding was established.

Permission was granted for the activity of non-state forensic examination organizations.

The priority directions were defined and necessary measures were approved to develop this sphere.

You are aware that in recent years a requirement for video recording of such procedural actions as the search and seizure process, verifying statements on the spot, investigative experiment has been secured in legislation.

However, our conversations with the population demonstrate that similar measures need to be implemented with regard to other circumstances where there is a threat of human rights violations.

In particular, the procedure of mandatory video recording of the processes of detention of a person, explaining his procedural rights, and waiver of counsel needs to be secured in legislation.

Once a person is detained by law enforcement officers and transferred to a special facility, his relatives must immediately be informed about this fact.

I suggest that we clearly set this requirement in the legislation as an obligation of an interrogator, investigator and any other authorized person.

In addition, we need to shift the circumstances of a person’s detention and other measures of procedural enforcement limiting the rights of the person to an electronic system of recording.

A human factor must be brought to a minimum in this process.

A procedure of protesting against prosecutor’s decision in court shall be introduced starting next year.

Thereby a possibility will be created for ensuring balance, i.e. checks and balances during investigation and interrogation process.

Such an important change will be introduced for the first time in our practice.

It is an open secret that in the past the prosecutor’s office was extremely closed, uncontrolled body or the last instance so to say.

It is also true that numerous people have unfairly suffered and faced injustice.

Irrespective of its bitterness and unpleasantness, we have recognized this truth and embarked on ensuring full legitimacy and justice in this area.

I am confident that introduction of the procedure of protesting against prosecutor’s decision in court which is in place in developed democratic countries, will be an enormous step in strengthening the standards of justice in our life.

Ensuring a true independence of courts is a paramount task for us.

Especially, we must prevent the court from becoming a body which can be influenced by any high-ranking official.

Therefore, liability needs to be tightened for interfering in court’s affairs or pressuring the court.

As of late, the majority of appeals received by People’s reception offices refer to the shortcomings in the activities of the court, prosecutor’s office or the interior ministry.

Taking this into account, these agencies must create a totally new system of engaging with people.

Legitimate resolution of each petition and complaint will give assessment to the services of heads of these agencies.

I would like that such new developments be felt by our people who value justice the most, as well as our foreign partners, who are investing in our country with a belief that the rule of law prevails here.

Third, human rights protection needs to be elevated to the next stage by enhancing the institute of legal profession.

A lot has been done to strengthen the legal status of this system, expanding powers of lawyers.

However, there are several problems to be addressed.

For example, the fact that only 4 thousand lawyers provide services to over 33 million strong population of Uzbekistan can’t be positively assessed.

Currently, the persons above 50 years of age make up 60 percent of lawyers in our country.

How can we explain the fact that the number of persons among them who are below 30 years of age don’t even reach 70?!

To put an end to this regrettable situation we must enhance the prestige and status of lawyers, ensure independence of legal profession in the first place.

The Concept of Development of Legal Profession and the Lawyer’s Code need to be developed in the near-term outlook.

No agency can hinder the lawyers’ activities.

Along with this, the Concept should also fully reflect the qualification requirements to lawyers.

In this respect, we need to comprehensively study the best practices of foreign countries.

Fourth, the freedom of conscience, interethnic peace and accord, guaranteed protection of citizens both inside and outside the country will remain one of the priority directions of state policy.

To this end, the opportunities for our citizens to perform the holy pilgrimage have significantly been expanded.

In particular, the number of people performing the Umrah has been increased from 10 to 30 thousand and the number of people performing the Hajj has been increased from 5 thousand to 7 thousand 200 and the costs associated with travel have been reduced.

In general, I believe you are well aware with an extensive work performed in our country in recent years in terms of ensuring the freedom of conscience.

At present, we are working on a new edition of the law “On the freedom of conscience and religious organizations” with involvement of renowned local and foreign experts.

This document will contribute to fully ensuring the constitutional rights of our citizens in terms of the freedom of conscience and belief.

A systemic work is underway in terms of protecting our citizens temporarily working abroad, as well as their family members.

The Republican Commission for Foreign Labor Migration has been established.

The Department for Protection of the Rights and Support of Citizens of Uzbekistan Temporarily Working Abroad was established at the government.

However, media outlets report about frauds committed by some private employment agencies which send people abroad to work.

The Department must strictly control the activities of such firms.

The Republic of Uzbekistan will further guarantee the legal protection and sponsorship to its citizens, be it inside or outside the country, and shall take all the necessary measures.

To this end, the consular services provided by our diplomatic missions abroad, need to be transferred to an electronic form.

So that our citizens abroad don’t have to travel to consular departments from other cities and waste their time.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the Ministry of Justice will be responsible to fully implement this system next year.

Fifth, a serious attention is being paid in our country to ensuring equal rights of men and women.

The fact that the Women’s Committee and its regional offices were completely reestablished and granted additional powers and capacities and provided with the necessary conditions for conducting full-fledged activity became a new step in this direction.

The laws “On the guarantees of equal rights and opportunities for women and men” and “On protecting women from harrasment and violence” were adopted this year.

I believe parliamentary and public control have crucial importance in consistently implementing these laws.

Protection of motherhood and childhood, social problems of women will remain in the focus of our state.

For over the recent years numerous women were promoted to managerial positions in the areas of public administration, economy, bank and finance, education, health, culture and others.

Tell me, please, who knows the people’s problems and grievances on the ground, who knows the situation in the families and communities the best, who can feel these developments?

Certainly, isn’t it our beloved and kind women?

Undoubtedly, our women have significant importance and impact in identifying social problems and their timely resolution, as well as in increasing the management efficiency.

Therefore, we will proactively continue our policy aimed at increasing women’s status and profile in the society and encouraging them to demonstrate their potential in various responsible positions.

Sixth, the citizens’ constitutional right to property is inviolable and shall always be under the state’s protection.

An extensive work was carried out in recent years to eliminate barriers on the way of entrepreneurship and resolutely prevent unlawful interference of public agencies in its activities.

In particular, the practice of allocation of land plots which is opening the way for corruption has been radically reformed.

At the moment, this process is being implemented through an electronic system of land allocation.

The fact that starting from January 1 next year, powers of the governors or mayors to seize the agricultural land plots will be delegated to the Councils of People’s Deputies represents one of the big steps in ensuring the inviolability of property.

In addition, new rules were introduced in terms of land seizure and payment of compensation, as well as seizure of property only with the owner’s consent.

At the same time, liability has been tightened in terms of public officials who defied the laws on inviolability of property, irrespective of their position.

In addition, now if the parties disagree on the compensation amount, such disputes will be resolved by the court alone.

It is a known fact that until recently the governors or mayors were authorized to adopt decisions on disposing land and private property and revoke them as needed.

The time has come to limit these powers.

As numerous instances demonstrate, granting such powers to governors or mayors alone causes various injustices.

From now on, such cases will only be resolved by courts.

In case of identifying issues related to unlawful limitation of property rights of business entities, the Business-Ombudsman should be authorized to apply to the court to pursue the interests of an entrepreneur.

In order to ensure openness and transparency in this area, a practice of posting the governors’ or mayors’ decisions on allocation of land plots and private property on the relevant websites should be introduced.

In order to ensure the property rights of physical and legal entities we will further firmly continue our reforms which meet the international standards.

In a word, we must strengthen the constitutional supervision in all spheres of our life in order to build a democratic state and free civil society in our country.

Subsequently, it will allow for protecting human rights, freedoms, honor, dignity, and inviolability of property, ensure the citizens’ basic rights such as the right to employment, education and healthcare.

Dear compatriots!

On December 22, 2019 the elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Councils of People’s Deputies will take place.

This campaign, which is now in full swing under the motto “New Uzbekistan – new elections”, is an extremely important event in the political life of our country.

According to our Constitution, the citizens may participate in public administration directly and through their representatives.

Voting for a candidate or a program put forward by a political party of one’s choice and providing support to them at the elections is a vivid manifestation of representative democracy.

For over the short period of time, 21 laws were systematized and the unified Electoral Code was adopted for the first time in the history of Uzbekistan.

It became an important step in consolidating the national legislation and enhancing the methods of conducting democratic elections.

It would be correct to say that the biggest innovation in this Code is the fact that the political parties fully own the political landscape.

According to the Code, now the political parties can nominate candidates from all 150 electoral districts instead of previous 135.

Abolishment of the quota set for the Ecological movement will also promote fair competition on the political arena.

Another innovation is that the makhallas are not entitled anymore to nominate their candidates to local councils.

According to the Electoral Code, the rights of the authorized representative of a political party have been expanded.

Now, the representative shall participate in the meetings of the electoral commission, filing documents and verifying the accuracy of candidacy lists.

In addition, the representative is authorized to participate in vote counting in a polling station.

All of this promotes openness and transparency, as well as enhances public control during elections.

In order to ensure free voting of our citizens at this year’s elections, 6 thousand 936 districts and 10 thousand 253 polling stations have been established across the country.

The citizens’ electoral rights were further expanded and numerous restrictions were lifted.

People, who committed misdemeanor amounting to a public nuisance and minor crimes, are eligible now to cast their vote at the elections.

In order to ensure our citizens’ right to vote, this year we have made a new step.

That is to say that, legal conditions were created to allow 1 thousand 905 convicts to cast their vote.

There is no doubt that the new Electoral Code and over 30 new democratic provisions will contribute to enhancing our electoral legislation.

For the first time in the history of our country, this year 5 political parties will participate in the elections.

Certainly, our people wish that persons who know and can tackle real-life problems, lead the way in adopting laws and decisions promoting efficient reforms, possess deep knowledge and skills be elected as members of parliament.

Therefore, our new parliament which is to be elected on a multiparty basis should consist of, primarily, the deputies who will be able to protect the interests of the people and the Homeland.

It is expected that observers from dozens of international organizations, the full-fledged mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as over 600 observers from over 40 countries of the world will participate at the elections.

While our people will assess today’s reforms through these elections, the world community will assess the renewed Uzbekistan.

I believe that each and every of our compatriots will realize their constitutional and civil duty, as well as responsibility for the destiny and future of the Homeland and cast their vote for the prosperity of the country, peace and tranquil life of our people, happiness and joy of our children.

Dear and esteemed compatriots!

All of us are aware that the world is rapidly changing now.

Challenges posing threat to the destiny and future of mankind are becoming ever more severe.

Merciless competition, various conflicts, oppositions and trade wars are becoming ever fierce on a global scale.

In such complex conditions, we must confidently move forward by relying on the wisdom and intelligence, firm will and potential of our people, our own strength and capabilities, being, in the meantime, partners with the world community.

In this regard, our Constitution will always lead us and serve as a unique source of strength.

Today, we have set enormous goals and set the bar high. There is no way back.

Reforms became irreversible in Uzbekistan and no one, and no force can misdirect us from the chosen path.

This is the requirement of today’s life and time.

This is the will and aspiration of our multiethnic, tolerant, diligent and noble people.

And we will dynamically continue this policy, which reflects the core interests, dreams and aspirations of our nation.

We will not only continue, but elevate it to a new, higher level.

Our people and the world community are looking at us with great hope.

We will be worthy of this high hope, confidently move forward and will definitely achieve together the great goals that we have set.

Taking this opportunity, allow me express immense gratitude on my own behalf and on behalf of our people to distinguished ambassadors and representatives of international organizations who are with us in today’s ceremony for their support extended to our noble initiatives and reforms.

From the bottom of my heart, I once again congratulate you and our entire nation on the great holiday – the Constitution Day.

I wish a good health, family happiness, peace and tranquility, plenty and abundance to your cherished homes.

Thank you for your attention.

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