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October 8, 2014


October 8, 2014

elections to the oliy majlis of the republic of uzbekistan and local Kengashes of people’s deputies. 2

CEC: All political parties have submitted documents for participation in the elections. 2

Political Parties and Elections. 2

investments: road network.. 5

Not to Stay on the Sidelines. 5


E-Commerce Spreading Throughout the Country. 6


Pearl in New Facet7



elections to the oliy majlis of the republic of uzbekistan and local Kengashes of people’s deputies

CEC: All political parties have submitted documents for participation in the elections

According to the press service of the Central election commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the process of collecting signatures of voters in support of political parties have finished.

On October 6, the people’s democratic party of Uzbekistan presented in the CEC necessary documents for participation in the parliamentary elections.

Thus, all political parties: the Movement of entrepreneurs and businessmen – liberal democratic party of Uzbekistan, the Democratic party of Uzbekistan “Milliy Tiklanish”, the people’s democratic party of Uzbekistan, the Social-democratic party of Uzbekistan “Adolat” presented to the Central electoral commission relevant documents for participation in the parliamentary elections.

The Central electoral commission continues the work of the working group on verification of the correctness of the signature sheets.

Authorized representatives of each political party are also involved in the validation process of the Central election Commission for the correctness of the signature sheets.


Political Parties and Elections

An atmosphere of constructive, lively and enduring discussion, exchange of views, sharp questions and detailed answers characterized the international roundtable conference ‘Political parties and elections: international practice and the experience of Uzbekistan’ held in Tashkent.

It was organized by the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society in collaboration with the Central Election Commission (CEC) and other partners.

The panel discussion was attended by academics and experts from France, Germany, USA, Korea, and other countries, officials of foreign and international organizations accredited in Uzbekistan, including the OSCE, UNESCO, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, as well as deputies of the Oliy Majlis, members of CEC, representatives of leading scientific-research and education institutions, political parties and public organizations.

It was highlighted that political parties in Uzbekistan are gradually becoming an essential tool for stirring up social activity of citizens, free expression of citizens’ will and opinion. This becomes especially apparent during elections and the process of formation of public authorities at different levels.

A unique form of association

At the roundtable discussion, universally recognized principles and norms of participation of political parties in elections to representative bodies of government, as well as the experience of other developed democratic countries to improve the legal framework of participation of political parties in the electoral process, have been reviewed.

The participants of the ‘round table’ pointed out that political parties are a unique form of association of persons, one of the objectives of which is the expression of the will of citizens through participation in public affairs and nominations for election. Their distinctive feature compared to other public organizations is the ability to offer voters a comprehensive model of social development and to implement these proposals after coming to power. Political parties are the most widely used tool for citizens’ participation in political life and play an important role in the formation of an informed and active electorate.

The peculiarities of the activities of political parties and their participation in the elections, the role of civil society in the preparation and holding them, the use of modern information and communication technologies in the course of the election campaign, the importance of the media in promoting democracy during campaign events, these and other questions were covered on the example of their countries in the reports by the Professor of Inha University Choi Jun Young, the president of the Institute of Forecasting and security in Europe, Emmanuel Dupuy of France, Head of the Ebert Foundation in Central Asia Peer Teschendorf from Germany, head of a National Democratic Institute office in Uzbekistan Erica Breth from the United States and others.

Improvement of electoral process legislation

As part of the ‘round table’ foreign experts were informed about programs in Uzbekistan of successive transformations to develop electoral legislation and increase the participation of political parties in the electoral process.

The political Parties of Uzbekistan, the speakers noted, have a real opportunity to participate in the formation of the government, to influence domestic and foreign policy of the country, so their role in the relations between state and civil society is especially high.

Initially, it was obvious that without a serious increase of the role of political parties in representing the interests of citizens and public decision-making, it is impossible to establish and develop a truly democratic, civilized and effective political system in our country. And in this respect very important is the role of the electoral legislation of Uzbekistan, which has gone through successive evolutionary path of formation and development.

As a result of liberalization and modernization of all spheres of social life an electoral system that meets the highest democratic standards was created. An effective, relevant and universally recognized norms and principles of the legal framework of the elections were formed. Given that elections are the clearest indicator of the country’s existing democratic constitutional order in the country focus on the main requirement of democracy the free will of the people has been emphasized.

Within the framework of the basic constitutional norms a fundamentally new electoral law, which included the many legal acts in the country, has been consistently developed. The law ‘On elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan’, ‘On elections to the regional, district and city councils of people’s deputies’ have secured the fundamental position of elections to representative bodies solely on multiparty basis.

At the forum it was noted that the changes in the legislation provided constitutional recognition of important issues such as the order of democratic formation of an independent body – the Central Election Commission, the main features and principles of its activities, the election of members of the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of Oliy Majlis.

The Central Election Commission was given the status of an independent and permanent government agency that is governed by the Constitution, laws on elections and other legislative acts. The basic principles of the Commission: independence, legality, collegiality, openness and fairness, have also received constitutional recognition. The Central Election Committee has a great responsibility to organize and conduct national elections in full compliance with the requirements of national legislation and international principles.

Taking into account international experience and own practice the participation of observers from political parties at all stages of the electoral process, from the nomination and registration of candidates and ending with the counting of votes and the announcement of the election results was secured in the laws.

In addition, candidates, to political parties have equal rights to use the media.

The six-month time limit for registration of political parties to participate in elections is reduced to 4 months, and the numbers of required signatures have decreased from 50 to 40 thousand. In this case, the participation of women candidates in the elections of deputies shall be not less than 30%.

In 2008, the concept of an authorized representative of a political party, who is entitled to participate in counting the votes at the polling stations and the validation of the signature lists, was introduced. This allowed for an even greater objectivity and the creation of additional guarantees of transparency of the elections as well as the realization of the rights of political parties in the course of their execution. The number of trustee’s candidates also increased from 5 to 10.

The process of further democratization of elections in our country is effectively developing. Practical manifestation of this was the implementation of the Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country, put forward by our Head of State and approved by the joint session of Parliament in November 2010. In this Programme Document, along with the priorities of the state and social edifice, an important place is given to ensuring the freedom of suffrage and the development of the electoral legislation in Uzbekistan.

Thus, the Basic Law has been subject to several amendments aimed at further improvement of the system of checks and balances, the formation and development of the whole system of parliamentary and public control over the executive branch, which is an important guarantee for the implementation of the constitutional principle of democracy.

In accordance with the concept a new procedure for the nomination of the Prime Minister of the Republic of the political party that won the largest number of seats in the elections to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, or more political parties have obtained an equal highest number of seats in the lower house of parliament was introduced.

In the new constitutional framework parties received parliamentary oversight of government activities up to the initialization process for dismissal of the Prime Minister of the Republic, which simultaneously entails the resignation of the government.

Also regulation providing consultation with the party groups in the regional People’s Deputies in approving mayor regions and Tashkent city was introduced.

In general, the country has created the necessary organizational and legal conditions and opportunities for meaningful participation in the elections of political parties. Improvements are being made, which makes the election process simple, accessible, transparent and open. Multiparty and pluralism of opinions has become the driving force behind the development of a democratic society in Uzbekistan. And it underlines the commitment to strengthen the party system of the country even more.

Increasing activity, growing competition

Participants of the “round table” got acquainted with the data monitoring studies of the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society, which clearly indicates an increase in inter-party competition at all stages of the elections to representative bodies. Thus, the analysis of the elections to the regional councils of people’s deputies instead of the retired showed increased use of the right to nominate candidates by political parties. The activation of campaigning candidates was observed. In addition, political parties have taken steps to ensure the presence of observers and delegates at the majority of polling stations. Conducting extensive explanatory work closely with the electorate, the public authorities in the field have stimulated the growth of civil activity of the population, increasing its legal culture and consciousness.

In the previous elections, all four political parties were able to largely use the right to nominate their candidates provided by law. Personnel potential of political parties allowed covering a large part of the constituencies for elections to the parliament. In this case, the political parties managed to withstand the requirements of the law on compulsory nomination of candidates at least 30% of women.

As the main outcome of the 2009 elections, it should be noted that the voting was over 15 million. Citizens, representing 87.8% of the total number of registered voters (in the 2004 parliamentary elections, the voter turnout was 85.1%).

The Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society developed recommendations for party activists, which will be useful in the upcoming elections.

An indisputable fact, which was identified in the course of monitoring, was the increase in the activity of political parties, increased competition between them, and between them nominated candidates.

Particular attention was paid by the participants to the role of mass media in promoting democracy during the election campaign. The variety of forms and methods of campaigning of political parties in Uzbekistan were presented, while issues of creating equal opportunities for political parties during the election campaign in the media were discussed.

Forum participants came up with recommendations aimed at cementing the role of political parties in the electoral process based on the outcomes of the international panel discussion.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


investments: road network

Not to Stay on the Sidelines

It is hard to overestimate the importance of highways in the modern economic system. However, not many people understand how hard it is to build a quality and safe roadway. A present day road is not just the way from point A to point B, but it combines a whole range of engineering, technical and technological solutions, responsible for hundreds thousands of lives.

Today, being a pivotal element of the global economy, highways are also a promising ‘retriever’ to pull it from the clutches of the global crisis. Meanwhile, experts render roads as a good indicator of development of a certain state: much can be said about modern industries, high technologies and dozens of investment projects, but it is enough to look at the road network to estimate the true country’s progress.

To date, the total length of the country’s road network exceeds 183 thousand kilometers. Most of them – about 61,665 km – fall to urban streets, as well as hay roads. The rest cover international routes, roads of national importance and local highways. The bulk of the freight and passenger traffic accounts for highways, including almost 85% of the cargo and more than 95% of passengers. So it is quite understandable that the modern development strategy of road network in Uzbekistan is based on both upgrading the existing tracks, and on the construction of a modern network of high-speed roads to link the major cities of the country.

Road upgrade is not just a requirement, but a vital necessity. Active industrial development, expansion of the export flow requires dynamic development of supply chains and building of new transport throughways. In twenty-three years of independent development Uzbekistan’s economy has grown by 4.1 times, the real per capita income – 8.2 times. The of gross domestic product growth rates have been above 8.1% for the last decade. As estimated by experts of the leading international financial institutions, these figures will retain in the medium term, which means that the flow of goods and passengers will grow. In the first half of 2014, 571.8 million tons of freight was transported by road, which is 4.9% more YOY. The turnover increased by 7.5% and amounted to 12.5 billion ton-kilometers, the share of private carriers has made up 74.2%.

The construction of the new interstate transport corridor Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Iran – Oman is a vital project for Uzbekistan. It envisages application of advanced technologies in road construction, as conditioned by thermal discontinuity and the need for rational budget spending. Establishment of the corridor was initiated during the visit of President Islam Karimov to Turkmenistan. The urge of Central Asian countries for the implementation of the project it is quite reasonable as it envisages breaking the geographic isolation of the region and opening access to the sea through the ports of Iran for many states.

This, in turn, is a huge step toward the main transport chains of global significance, which enable many countries to successfully export their products to global markets. In the conditions of instability and danger in Afghanistan the project of Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman will provide a transport corridor in the direction of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean without any extra security costs. The project would significantly expand the mutually beneficial relations between the countries of the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, and give a powerful impetus to the economic development of member countries.

Uzbekistan is implementing other large-scale projects aimed at the implementation of its capacity in the field of road haulage. For example, a project on the reconstruction of the road 4P-143 between Farghona and Quvasoi in the Farghona region worth more than 9.6 billion soums is nearing its completion. In the first half of 2014, the builders laid more than 10,120 tons of asphalt concrete, set the dividing fences, illumination, completed landscaping and planting ornamental trees in the neighborhoods. The work on ensuring road safety, laying the asphalt tracks that have been specially designed for effective access to residential facilities and consumer service buildings along highways, is underway. (Currency rates of CB from 8.10.2014   1$= 2371.45 soums)

Over the past fourteen years, the number of vehicles has multiplied in the country, including private vehicles. In 2000 20 cars accrued to 100 families, now their number has increased to 41.4. According to studies, more than 11% of households have two cars. As a result, the urban traffic and that on the roads of national importance is growing year by year. In this regard, it is important to reverse the trend, as the rate of repair and construction of the road network lags behind the growing number of cars and traffic intensity. Therefore, Uzbekistan approved a five-year program on accelerated development of infrastructure, transport and communications construction late 2010. The program is advantageous for its integrated approach: dozens of projects on the development of all kinds of transport take into account the growing the real economy sector, as well as the ever-changing and expanding passenger and cargo flows.

By the end of 2015, the road workers are to build and reconstruct over 2,300 km of roads, as well as build dozens of bridges and new hubs throughout the country. In general, the program envisages allocating over $3.3 billion for the road transport system development. It is worth noting that the construction and maintenance of roads envisages application of up-to-date energy- and resource-saving technologies that ensure prudent consumption of raw materials and energy resources. These measures have been taken to reduce production and construction costs.

Enhancement of strength property of domestic roads is another important trend. Today, the growing share of heavy vehicles in the traffic flow reduces the service life of roads between repairs, and the road degradation rate is increasing by three to four times. Previously, most of the roads in the country were built with the estimated load of ten tons of cargo on each axle of the vehicle. This figure has lost its relevance in current conditions. Therefore, the coverage and dimension of more than 890 km of roads, a part of the Uzbek National Highway, have been designed to the new standard, that is bringing this index to 13 tons.

Meanwhile, vehicle and passenger safety remains a key criterion to assess the performance of road workers. The negligence in this issue might be well exemplified by the collapse of the section of the Simferopol-Nikolaevka route early this week in Crimea. In the first half of 2014, the domestic enterprises of O’zavtoyo’l Company have implemented the construction, repair and maintenance works valued at over 560 billion soums. More than seven thousand new traffic signs and more than 16,000 marker and sign posts have been installed on the roads, and over 11 thousand obsolete traffic signs have been replaced. Special measures have been taken to ensure traffic safety on bridges and in tunnels, crosswalks have been marked, roadside grounds and bus stops have been landscaped.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)



E-Commerce Spreading Throughout the Country

The widespread introduction of non-cash forms of payment and e-commerce rank among the main trends in the global economy development. According to experts, today, about 10% of the world population makes online purchases, and the rate is growing. Uzbekistan has been actively involved in these processes. The country has issued more than 13 million bank cards. Over 149 thousand trading and service units provide payment terminals.

Two new projects are expected to play a significant role in the e-commerce development. The first one is aimed at the upgrade of the data processing center, which is the core of the national payment system. Its key mission is to promptly and securely process the huge data flow from the connected users. As experts say, the number of bank payment cards, as well as transactions, is going to increase. Therefore, there is a need to expand and improve the infrastructure of center’s computing capacity.

To do this, jointly with the Russian company BPC – Banking Technologies, the leading provider of payment solutions for the global financial industry, Uzbekistan has launched a project on the upgrade of the servers providing payment transactions with plastic cards. Due to the enhanced requirements for the functionality of servers and hardware-software complex Smart Vista it was decided to shift to a new powerful server hardware and subsequent migration of the software.

After the upgrade, the data processing center will be able to simultaneously perform up to 30 million transactions per day in normal mode. New computing servers will guarantee secure and reliable operation of the national payment system and allow developing new business trends through online services.

Another interesting project implies the launch of mobile application Central Bank of Uzbekistan for Android-based mobile devices. The new soft will introduce the users to the Central Bank’s activities, a list of credit institutions of Uzbekistan, specimen of banknotes and coins, as well as exchange rates. The mobile application was designed to meet the growing needs of the wide audience in fast access to information on the activities of the Central Bank. According to the statistics, the Bank’s website is daily visited by more than three thousand people. This suggests that the mobile app will be popular among the larger number of active users.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)



Pearl in New Facet

Bukhoro Region pays much attention to the preservation of ancient monuments, which are major national and world heritage. The head of the Inspectorate on protection and use of cultural heritage of Bukhoro Region Ravshan Khudoyqulov tells about the works being done to preserve these monuments:

“A decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan was issued on March 23, 2010 ‘On the State Program on research, conservation, restoration and adaptation to the modern use of the cultural heritage of Bukhoro by 2020.’ The staff of the regional inspection plants its work in accordance with this document.

The region has 660 cultural monuments, including 230 archaeological, 364 architectural, 19 monumental, 22 architectural ensembles, and 24 protected areas. From other ancient cities of Uzbekistan Bukhoro is varied with monuments: carvonsaroys, mausoleums, mosques, minarets, trading domes, historic houses…

In 2013, the government budget allocated 600 million soums to repair objects of cultural heritage. The regional inspectorate allocated more than 85.5 million soums, which were used to update the Chor Bakr ensemble, trading domes Toki Sarafon, Toki Telpak Furushon, and Toki Zargaron, the Nodir Devon Begi place, the Kalon Minaret and others. (Currency rates of CB from 8.10.2014   1$= 2371.45 soums)

Reconstruction works have been made in 31 objects from the inventory list. Currently, restorers are working in Rashid Badreddin Carvonsaroy, Eski Maktab, Turki Jandi Mausoleum, and Kui Honako Mosque. Restoration of the facade walls is completed, as well as on the territory of the Ark Citadel.

Masters began updating the rotunda inside the Sitorai Mohi Hosa Complex. For many years the complex was in the critical condition. Today masters restore the bygone beauty of this early-twentieth-century construction. The eastern gate Darvozai Dilovar of the Bahovuddin Naqshband architectural complex is getting reconstructed as well.

The Inspectorate is working closely with the Uzbektourism National Company. We proposed the state tourism development program to include a new route along the historic area of about 60 monuments. This proposal is currently being considered.

Many residents of Bukhoro on their own initiative in cooperation with the inspectorate take care of objects of cultural heritage, which are in critical condition, restore them and use them as hotels, restaurants.

History is the soul of the people, embodied not only in dostons, legends and rituals, but also in the architectural monuments of the Pearl of the East – Bukhoro. To preserve the historical memory and thus enrich world civilization is the task set by the staff of the regional Inspectorate together with the public authorities.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


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