Uzbekistan ready for parliamentary polls

Polling stations across Uzbekistan are prepared for the parliamentary election the ex-Soviet state will hold on Sunday, the Central Election Commission head, Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, said on Saturday.

Over 270 observers from 36 countries and representatives of four international missions will monitor the polls with 517 candidates running.
The number of seats in the lower house of Uzbekistan’s bicameral parliament was increased last December from 120 to 150, with 15 seats reserved for election by the country’s Ecological Movement.

Almost equal numbers of candidates represent the Adolat Social Democratic Party (123), the Milliy Tiklanish Democratic Party (125), the Liberal Democratic Party (135) and the People’s Democratic Party (134). All the four parties currently have seats in the Oliy Majlis.

In an interview with the Central Asia Online edition, Veronica Szente Goldston, Human Rights Watch Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia, described the election campaign in Uzbekistan as oppressed by the government.

“Human rights are violated everywhere around the country, there is no political competition, all the parties than are running for this election are supporting the government”, she said on telephone.

Under Uzbek laws, the parliamentary election campaign is funded exclusively by the government. However, political parties, businesses and citizens are also invited to donate.

Abdusalomov said preliminary results of the polls would be drawn at a news conference on Monday.


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