The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will send its parliamentarians for the first time to observe the parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan on December 22.
The delegation will include more than 50 representatives of the parliaments of 25 OSCE participating states, such as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia and others. The delegation will be led by OSCE PA Vice President Kari Henriksen from Norway.
A statement by the OSCE PA emphasizes that the decision to send a representative delegation is linked with the start of large-scale reforms in Uzbekistan, including a significant update of the electoral law. At the same time, OSCE parliamentarians see the upcoming elections as a test of the reforms being carried out in Uzbekistan and express their readiness to provide comprehensive assistance to the democratic transformations in the country.
The OSCE PA which has been monitoring elections since 1993, visited more than 30 OSCE participating countries in the past. Conclusions and evaluations of the delegation of the OSCE PA will allow Uzbekistan to further improve its electoral legislation and electoral practices.
Over the past three years, Uzbekistan has significantly intensified cooperation with the OSCE PA. Since 2017, the country’s delegation has been regularly participating in Assembly sessions.
In 2017 OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen paid an official visit to Uzbekistan. In 2018 OSCE PA President Georgy Tsereteli and Secretary General Roberto Montella visited Uzbekistan.
Georgy Tsereteli, who participated in the first Asian human rights forum in Samarkand in 2018, highly praised the reforms initiated by the President of Uzbekistan in the field of protecting human rights, ensuring rule of law, independence of the judiciary.
It should be noted that the upcoming parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan wil be for the first time observed by the OSCE/ODIHR full-scale mission, which started its work in Uzbekistan on 25 November this year.
Recently the interim report of the OSCE/ODIHR Mission was published covering the period from November 25 to December 10. It recognizes remarcable progress in Uzbekistan in improving the electoral law and electoral practice, efforts of the government to modernize the public administration system. As a whole a positive assessment was given to the preparations for elections.
On 17 December 224 short-term observers from 30 OSCE participating countries are expected to arrive to Uzbekistan to monitor the elections directly in the regions.
President of the OSCE PA Georgy Tsereteli will coordinate the work of the OSCE/ODIHR short-term observer mission in Uzbekistan.
Experts say that the decision to send two OSCE missions (ODIHR and PA) to observe the parliamentary elections as evidence of the OSCE’s recognition of the democratic reforms implemented in Uzbekistan, as well as a high level of confidence in the electoral process, which has an important role to play in enhancing the influence of parliament on democratic processes in the country.
It is also noted that the wide representation of international observers in parliamentary elections is a clear demonstration of Uzbekistan’s firm determination to hold fair, honest, transparent and truly democratic elections that meet international standards and generally accepted norms.