Uzbekistani parliamentary election, 2009–2010
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Parliamentary elections were held in Uzbekistan on 27 December 2009 and 10 January 2010 to elect the 150 members of the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan, the lower house of the Oliy Majlis. Of these, 135 were directly elected from single member constituencies using the two-round system, while 15 seats were reserved for the country's Ecological Movement. Provincial and district councils were elected at the same time. Polls opened at 6 am Uzbekistan Time (0100 UTC) and closed at 8 pm UZT (1500 UTC).
The Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party (O'zlidep) was reconfirmed as the largest single party in the Legislative Chamber, with 55 deputies. The other parties permitted to participate in the elections were the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (32 deputies), the Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party (Milliy Tiklanish, 31 deputies) and the Justice Social Democratic Party (Adolat, 19 deputies).
The elections were monitored by over 270 observers from 36 countries and representatives of four international missions. The election monitoring arm of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) did not send a full mission, saying none of its earlier recommendations had been implemented: an OSCE assessment mission observed voting at several polling places, but did not do comprehensive vote monitoring. Veronica Szente Goldston, Human Rights Watch Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia, said the pre-election situation in Uzbekistan has been marked by intense repression by the government: "Human rights are violated everywhere around the country, there is no political competition, all the parties that are running for this election are supporting the government."
A candidate for election had to belong to a registered party and collect a minimum of 40,000 signatures. Several opposition politicians have alleged that all candidates also had to be approved by the government before they would be placed on the ballot. The four registered parties were:
- Adolat (Justice Social Democratic Party), with 123 candidates and 10 seats in the outgoing legislative chamber;
- Milliy Tiklanish (Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party), with 125 candidates and 29 seats in the outgoing legislative chamber;[note 1]
- People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDP), with 134 candidates and 28 seats in the outgoing legislative chamber;
- Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party (O'zlidep), with 135 candidates and 41 seats in the outgoing legislative chamber.
The election campaign consisted of 15- to 20-minute television programs each day for four days, as well as a second program called "Election – Mirror of Democracy". Transcripts from these shows were reprinted in newspapers, and billboards also appeared touting the upcoming choice that Uzbeks had to make. The four parties have publicly criticized each other, mainly over social policy, while praising President Islam Karimov's achievements. Freedom House, a US-based human rights organization, says the discussions appeared on television for the first time, which was a positive development, but that "We have some evidence from Uzbek activists that those debates were scripted. And even if not – these parties don't know themselves who they are, they have no ideology."
The Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan elected its 15 legislators at a congress, also held on 27 December, one from each territorial subdivision of Uzbekistan (Republic of Karakalpakstan, provinces and Tashkent city) plus one member from the Executive Committee of the Central Council of the Ecological Movement. Delegates to the congress were elected in equal numbers at the conferences of each of the territorial branches of the Ecological Movement.
There were 17,215,700 eligible voters for the 2009 parliamentary elections. By 1 pm UZT (0800 UTC), 57.3% (9,879,195 voters) had cast their vote, ensuring that the election would be valid under Uzbekistani election law (33% minimum turnout required). By 5 pm UZT (1200 UTC), 79.4% (13,670,387 voters) had cast their votes. Final turnout for the first round (based on provisional figures) was 87.8% (15,108,950 voters).
On 24 December, all 16 million mobile phone users in Uzbekistan received an SMS informing them of the forthcoming elections. According to an Uzbek living in exile in the United States, "there are certain groups of the population which are under pressure and they are compelled to participate in the election – students, teachers, government employees."
For the second round on 10 January 2010, the electorate was 4,969,547. Of these, 16.3% (812,502 voters) were reported to have voted by 9 am UZT (0300 UTC), just three hours after polling stations had opened. The final turnout (based on provisional figures) when polls closed at 8 pm UZT (1500 UTC) was 79.7% (3,960,876 voters).
Preliminary results were announced by the Central Election Commission on 29 December. Results were declared in 96 out of the 135 electoral districts; in the remaining 39 districts, no candidate obtained an overall majority of votes, and so a second round of voting was held in 10 January 2010. Final results were announced by the Central Election Commission on 13 January 2010.
|Parties||First round||Second round*||Total
|Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party
(O'zbekiston Liberal Demokratik Partiyasi)
|Uzbekistan People's Democratic Party
(O'zbekistan Xalq Demokratik Partiyasi)
|Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party
(O'zbekistan Milliy Tiklanish Demokratik Partiyasi)
|Justice Social Democratic Party
(Adolat Sotsial Demokratik Partiyasi)
|Total valid votes||15,108,950||(87.8%)||3,960,876||(79.7%)|
|*In 39 out of 135 electoral districts where no candidate polled more than 50% of the vote in the first round.
15 deputies to the Legislative Chamber were also elected by the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan in indirect elections.
Source: Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Notes and references
- Including 18 seats from the former Self-Sacrifice National Democratic Party, which merged in 2008.
- Parliamentary elections to be held today, Uzbekistan National News Agency, 27 December 2009.
- Elections held successfully, Uzbekistan National News Agency, 27 December 2009.
- Elections to Legislative Chamber end, Central Election Commission, 13 January 2010.
- Apathy and fear as Uzbekistan votes in election, Reuters, 27 December 2009.
- As Uzbek elections approach, will there be any choices?, Central Asia Online, 19 December 2009.
- Uzbekistan ready for parliamentary polls, RIA Novosti, 26 December 2009.
- Ecological Movement holds conference on elections to parliament, Uzbekistan National News Agency, 27 December 2009.
- Central Election Commission: 57.3% voters attend elections, Uzbekistan National News Agency, 27 December 2009.
- Voting continues at elections in Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan National News Agency, 27 December 2009.
- "Parliamentary elections 2009: Wide Application of ICT in Notifying Voters", Turkish Weekly, 25 December 2009.
- Second round of elections are taking place in compliance with the norms of electoral legislation, Centreal Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 10 January 2010.
- Over 80 percent people vote in second tour of parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan, Trend News, 11 January 2010.
- Second round of parliamentary elections to be held on 10 January, Uzbekistan National News Agency, 31 December 2009.