Democratic parliamentarism in Uzbekistan and strengthening multi-party system

Eurasia News

Democratic parliamentarism in Uzbekistan and strengthening multi-party system

Democratic parliamentarism in Uzbekistan

Dispatch News Desk: The most important strategy of policy reform, implementing stage by stage after the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is a democratic modernization and the creation of a modern institutions of democratic parliamentarism. One of the key priorities in this task is the development of a multiparty political system.

In the report of the President Islam Karimov at the celebrate meeting devoted to the 21st anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, was noted that “The radical enhancement of the role of political parties in defining the concrete priorities of socio-political and economic development and their participation in tackling the strategic tasks of reforms and modernization of the country must become the most important factor of progressive democratic changes.

The experience of developed democracies in the modern world proves that strengthening the multiparty system and competition among political parties stands as one of the crucial conditions on which the parliamentary traditions are built, when as a result of free and fair elections the major political forces and social layers of a country’s population are represented in parliament”.

The constitutional rights of citizens to associate in political parties and the right of political parties to participate in the formation of state power have been further developed in the Law“On strengthening the role of political parties in renewal and further democratization of state governance and modernization of the country” and the Law “On Political Parties”.

These and other acts give the party a wide range of rights and powers, including the right to the realization of program goals and objectives through their representatives in elected bodies at all levels, participation in the formation of bodies of state power and control over their activities, free dissemination of information about its activities, propaganda of their ideas, goals and solutions. State protection of rights and legitimate interests of political parties, the creation of equal legal opportunities for the fulfillment of their statutory goals and objectives have been legislatively guaranteed.

In accordance with the Law “On financing of political parties” adopted 2004, a system of public financing of political parties in elections is realized nowadays. Since 2005, the political parties created their own faction in the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis annually receive state funding for their activities.

Nowadays, electoral system, which is now fully meets generally accepted norms and principles of free and fair elections, is dynamically developing.

To date, the national legislation adequately reflected the basic provisions of the universal international documents on the participation of political parties in elections. Elections of deputies of the Legislative chamber and the local Kengashes national deputies conducted on a multiparty basis. Candidates and nominated their political parties are guaranteed equal conditions for campaigning and access to the media.

Important strengthening rights of political parties associated with their participation in the elections are the presence of observers from political parties that nominated candidates, at all events on preparation and conduct of elections, and the participation of their authorized representatives in the counting of votes at polling stations.

In accordance with the “Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country” in 2012, the electoral law was introduced a number of changes aimed at further democratization of the electoral processes. In particular, procedural mechanisms of election campaign in the form of disseminating information about the program and the pre-election platform of the political party with an appeal to vote for its candidates have been improved.
All this contributed to the dynamic development of a multiparty system. Currently, there are 4 political parties: Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP), people’s democratic party of Uzbekistan (NDP Uzbekistan), Democratic Party of Uzbekistan “Milliy Tiklanish” and the Social democratic party of Uzbekistan “Adolat”. These are all results of the 2009 elections have formed their own fraction in the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis and presents their party groups in the Jokargy Kenes of Karakalpakstan and regional, district and city Kengashes of people’s deputies. Members of political parties are over 900 thousand citizens, or about 5 percent of the population over the age of 18 years.

At the stage of practical implementation nominated by the President in November 2010 the “Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country” have developed new prerequisites and conditions for strengthening multiparty system and further enhance the role of political parties in the country.

Important changes significantly strengthened the status, rights and powers of political parties and their parliamentary groups have been made on the basis of the key priorities of the Concept in the 2011 – 2014 in the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan.So, fractions of political parties in the Lower house of Parliament have the right to appeal a request to the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ministers, and heads of other state bodies.The constitutional authority of the OliyMajlis for the hearing and discussing the report of the Prime Minister on topical issues of socio-economic development of the countrywas an important step to increase the role of political parties in the system of representative parliamentary democracy.The introduction of new constitutional and legislative norms created the necessary conditions for the initiation party fraction in the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis in 2011 – 2014. 11 parliamentary hearings on the various activities of the executive bodies of state power and the execution of priority national programs were carried out. Since 2011 the practice of regular hearing of the report of the Prime Minister on the ongoing implementation of Government measures on further deepening democratic market reforms and liberalization of economy is widely used in the activities of the Parliament.

Since 2012 there are new procedural mechanisms, according to which any bill is not considered without regard to the opinion of fractions,in the Regulations of the Legislative chamber. Since January 2014 the obligation of taking into account the opinion of the party groups of the political parties during considering and making decisions at the sessions of local Kengashes of people’s deputies is also legally established.

Since 2014 the Constitution enshrinesthe duty of the khokims of regions, districts and cities to represent to the Councils of people’s deputies reports on important and topical issues of socio-economic development of respective territories. This constitutional provision also contributed to the growth of the activity of the parties. For the first 9 months of 2014 more than 200 reports of the heads and officials of government bodies were presented. This figure is significantly higher than 2013.

The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated April 16, 2014 “On amendments and additions to certain articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan (articles 32, 78, 93, 98, 103 and 117)” developed and adopted in accordance with the legislative initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan also contributes to further enhancing the role and responsibility of parties.

The new constitutional order of proposals on the nomination of the Prime Minister won the elections by a political party (or multiple parties who have the equal the largest number of seats in the Legislative chamber), as well as a presentation of the candidate’s program significantly increases the interest of the parties in the effective conduct of election campaign started on 15 September 2014.

Changes made in accordance with the “Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and formation civil society in the country”, the Constitution and the legislation regulating the activities of political parties objectively contributed to increase the interest of the parties in a meaningful participation in the forthcoming elections. This prompted the parties to achieve goals and summarize their work done for 5 years since last elections in 2009. Over the past period, all parties were also implemented measures to clarify the social composition of its permanent electorate, the study of the long-term interests and vital needs its constituent major social groups. This created sociological and methodological basis for determining program priorities of parties in the coming period of their activities and the development of new election platforms.

All four acting parties fulfill the conditions stipulated by the electoral legislation and the relevant decisions of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the regional, district and city election commissions. They allowed to participate in the election of deputies of the Legislative Chamber and local representative bodies of state authority, which will be held on December 21, 2014. The nomination and registration of candidates from parties in the Legislative Chamber and local representative bodies have successfully passed.

All parties approved new election platform, on the basis of which started campaigning.

Taking into account the growing activity,it can be expected that election campaigning will be held in an atmosphere of rigid inter-party competition.

In turn, this will create the necessary prerequisites and conditions for further development of the multiparty system and political pluralism in the country at a new stage of democratic reforms and development of civil society in the country.