Uzbekistan’s Presidential Elections 2015 and Political Stability, Economic Sustainability and Constitutional Supremacy

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

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Presidential Elections 2015 will be held on March 29, 2015 in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Politics and economics are different but interconnected disciplines. Both are interdependent and interrelated in their utilities, scopes and productivities. Political stability is must for achieving the desired goals of macroeconomic sustainability. Their ideal combination leads the ways of further socio-economic prosperity and constitutional soundness in the country. Continuation of political process/system paves the way of political and economic stability. Uzbekistan is the prime example of this political manifestation.

Presidential Elections Candidates

There are four candidates for the upcoming presidential elections 2015 i.e. the incumbent president Islam Karimov of the Liberal Democratic Party, Khatamzhon from Peoples Democratic Party, Narimon Umarov of the Social Democratic Party and Akmal Saidov of the Democratic Party (Mili Tiklanish [National Renaissance] National Renaissance.

Preparations of Presidential Elections 2015

The preparation of upcoming presidential elections 2015 is in full swing. Its successful conduct will contribute to the further development of the country and its future prosperity. It will be held at the highest organizational level, in accordance with the provisions of the national electoral laws and international democratic standards.

The Central Elections Commission (CEC) of Uzbekistan

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The Central Elections Commission (CEC) within the borders of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city established 14 electoral districts for the election of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, formed the district election commissions, and they, in turn, established 9058 polling stations and precinct election commissions are formed. The commissions of both levels based on the recommendations of local Councils of People’s Deputies include respected members of the public. 44 polling stations established at the offices of the Republic of Uzbekistan in foreign countries.

Constitution of Uzbekistan and Presidential Elections 2015

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The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the Basic Law which provides that the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is elected by the citizens of the country on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. In addition, since independence formed a package of laws regulating the entire process of presidential elections. First of all, the laws “On elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, “On guarantees of electoral rights of citizens”, “On the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, as well as a number of other legislative acts all uphold the elements of fair-play, transparency and accountability in the upcoming presidential elections 2015.

Legislation and Electoral Process

All legislative acts adopted in the country focus on the strict observance of electoral rights of citizens on the basis of the principles of fairness, transparency, openness and transparency, the creation of the necessary conditions for voters to participate freely in the elections and political parties put forward their candidates for the presidency – the broad and equal opportunities during the election campaign.

Uzbekistan’s National Electoral System

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Uzbekistan’s national electoral system has legally fixed system of independent election commission, headed by the Central Election Commission, which provide the organization and conduct of elections in accordance with the requirements of the law and subordinate only to the law. Moreover, “the Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country” is now paying its dividends in the country. It has already strengthened the democratization of state power and administration, strengthening multi-party system. The Basic Law was introduced a number of amendments aimed at further improving the system of checks and balances between branches of government.

According to the Law “On Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” presidential candidates, political parties have equal rights to use the media during the election campaign.

Independence of Central Election Commission

Resolution of the Central Election Commission in order to ensure a level playing field during the election campaign presidential candidates for performances with its future work program provided for 900 minutes of airtime on the channels of the National TV and Radio Company “Uzbekistan” and “Yoshlar” and the same printed area 10 strips in newspapers “Xalq So’zi “,” Narodnoye Slovo “and” Pravda Vostoka” clearly reflects the level of total freedom of expression, persuasion, tranquility and respect the will of people in Uzbekistan.

Equal Right to all the Presidential Elections Candidates

Presidential candidate law also granted an equal right to hold meetings with voters. Each candidate is entitled to have up to 15 agents, who help him the election campaign, campaign for his election and represent their interests in various organizations.

State-Building and Radical Democratic Achievements

Over the years of independence the country has made considerable progress in state-building, carrying out radical democratic, social and economic reforms, taking its rightful place in the global community. Thanks to the visionary leadership of the incumbent president Islam Karimov.

The achievement of peaceful coexistence of representatives of more than 120 nations and nationalities living in the country deserves special attention. This factor may serve as an example for the entire world community.

Comparative Study of all the Presidential Elections Candidates

Uzbek leader Karimov addresses parliament during an inauguration ceremony in Tashkent

Comparative study of all the candidates reveal that the incumbent president Islam Karimov is known for his successful development policies, sustainable economic growth and clear regional philosophy and his cordial relations with leaders of Central Asia. He is not only a president of Uzbekistan rather he is respected as a father figure in entire Central Asia and its diversified societies. He has definite edge or comparative advantage over other candidates for having leaded the country and people in their most difficult times since inception with a fast economic and sociopolitical development and safeguarding the country from extremism and terrorism.

Islam Karimov and Strong Foreign Policy

Moreover, Islam Karimov is the only candidate who has the strong political will, wisdom and visionary capabilities to ensure a successful and strong foreign policy in the backdrop of relatively tough regional geo-politics, unpredictable scenarios of the post-US troop draw down from Afghanistan and emerging threats of ISIS terror to Central Asia. He is the pioneer of Uzbekistan’s constitutional development wherein the foreign policy mottos of Uzbekistan derive its strength from national Constitution and the Uzbek model of economic and political development that concentrates upon balanced multi-vector relationships in the cause of national interest, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring states and respect for international laws and treaties.

Maintenance of Strategic Balance

Due to his balanced and independent foreign policies and rigorous commercial diplomacy Uzbekistan has been staying away from any regional conflict and international power politics. He successfully maintained a balance among Russian, China and US policies. Therefore, March 29 Presidential Election is an important event not only for Uzbekistan but also for the entire Central Asia region. Issues of national and regional security and continuity of regional policies will not only benefit Uzbekistan rather all of her neighbours to keep Central Asia secure from rising threats from non-state actors in the region. Islam Karimov is the ultimate choice of the people of Uzbekistan.

Development all the Way

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Under the rule of the incumbent president Islam Karimov the Republic of Uzbekistan made dynamic development in all fields of civility, politics, economic, foreign policy and society. It made Uzbekistan a democratic state with a socially-oriented market economy and a strong civil society, cause a significant genuine interest of foreign socio-political and expert circles.


Outcome of Rigorous Reforms

The successful outcome of large-scale reforms implemented in the country since independence, is widely recognized by international foreign official circles. Long term program of reforms, democratization and liberalization of society, fundamental structural reforms and modernization of the country, is now recognized worldwide as the “Uzbek model” of development. Thanks to the visionary leadership of incumbent president Islam Karimov.

Right Path of Socio-Economic Prosperity

Uzbekistan has chosen the most correct and effective way for political progress, economic prosperity and ensures its security. The stable socio-political and socio-economic situation in Uzbekistan maintains peace and harmony among various religious faiths, nations and nationalities. Moreover, the progressive strengthening of the role of parliament in government as one of the major achievements since independence is the hallmark of Islam Kairmov’s rule.

Importance of Continuation of Large-Scale Reforms

Upcoming presidential election will be an incentive for further continuation of large-scale reforms in the country on the path of progress and prosperity of the country. This important event in the life of Uzbekistan is designed to unite all citizens in the name of the bright future of their homeland.

Uzbekistan’s National Priority

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Priority, which in Uzbekistan is given to the development of social sphere, well reflected in the tradition of assigning each year a certain direction. 2014 was declared in Uzbekistan “Year of a healthy baby”, and within it was carried out large-scale government programs to perform tasks on upbringing and harmonious development of a healthy generation. This year in Uzbekistan declared the “Year of attention and care for the senior generation”, which is another vivid confirmation of a strong social policy.

Socio-Economic Development 2014-15

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According to official figures of Uzbekistan government despite the impact of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis, slowing growth rates in the world economy, and deepening stagnation and recession in many countries, Uzbekistan had achieved stable high rates of GDP and its major sectors in 2014 which was achieved due to targeted and systematic financial and economic reforms and their implementation. Its GDP increased by 8.1 percent. Industrial production enhanced by 8.3 percent. Whereas agriculture production increased by 6.9 percent. Capital construction witnessed an increase of 10.9 percent. Retail trade rose by 14.3 percent.

Tax Incentives & State Budget 2014

Around 70 per cent of production consisted of finished goods with high added value. Inflation was 6.1 per cent, significantly lower than estimates. The State budget had a surplus of 0.2 per cent of GDP, with a decrease in the tax burden from 20.5 to 20.0 per cent of GDP and a reduction in the corporate income tax rate from 9 to 8 per cent.

Reduction in Central Bank Refinancing Rates

Due to stability and resilient Uzbek banking system there was a reduction in the Central Bank refinancing rate from 12 to 10 per cent and a corresponding decrease in the interest rate for commercial bank loans. Keeping in view its remarkable performance the leading international credit rating agencies have rated the outlook for the Uzbek banking system as “stable”.

Bulk of Domestic and FDIs

Domestic and foreign investments policies have been made easy and business friendly since its inception in the country due to which year-by-year high rate of large scale industrial production, moderation, technological transformation and upgrading achieved and maintained. There was 10.9 percent increase ($14.6 billion) in the inflows of domestic & FDIs in the country. Social development, public transportation and communications infrastructure was remained the foremost priorities of the government during 2014. According to the official figures there was increase of 21.2 percent of all capital investments (foreign investments, loans, FDIs). Over 73 per cent of investments went into industrial construction.

Technological Resolution

According to the official figures 154 major facilities/installations fitted out with the latest high technology equipment and valued at over $4.2 billion were brought online. Different diversified but integrated programs/policies and incentives were launched to support and stimulate Uzbek export producers, boost the competitiveness of their products and help them enter new markets. As a result, there was a net trade surplus of $180 million, and gold and foreign-exchange reserves increased by $1.6 billion. Systematic measures were also implemented to improve the business environment and create more favourable conditions for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and private enterprise development.

Blessings of Single-Window Operations

A “single window” for the establishment and operations of businesses, maximum streamlining of statistical and tax reporting by small businesses, and significant broadening of access to raw materials for private entrepreneurs is now paying its dividends.

Contributions of Small and Medium Enterprises

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Due to which the share of GDP attributable to small business has grown from 31 to 56 per cent since 2000, while its share of industrial production has increased from 12.9 to 31.1 per cent. The share of GDP represented by services sector increased from 53 to 54 per cent. Among high technology services, the fastest development has been seen in communications and information technology services, which have grown 3.3-fold over the past five years, with growth of 24.5 per cent last year.

Social Development 2014-15

The high rates of qualitative life were achieved and maintained during 2014. The wages of employees of State funded organizations, as well as pensions and stipends, increased by 23.2 per cent in 2014. Real per capita income increased by 10.2 per cent. New one million jobs were created, 60 per cent of them in rural municipalities, and over 600,000 recent graduates found employment in the previous year.

Socio-Economic Priorities for 2015

To achieve the desired goals of socio-economic growth in 2015, major policies have been outlined which are based on extended structural transformation of the economy, modernize and actively diversify the main industrial sectors, foster the localization of production, and develop the transportation and communications infrastructure. Moreover, liberalization of economy will further reduce the State presence in the economy to strategically and economically justifiable levels. Comprehensive corporate management; elimination of all barriers to and restrictions on complete freedom of private property and private entrepreneurship would create the necessary conditions to ensure jobs for Uzbeks and increase their standard of living and quality of life.

Concluding Remarks

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The Presidential Elections 2015 would be leap-jump to qualitative socio-political and socio-economic conditions, significantly increased inter-party competition, political and civic activity of the population in Uzbekistan.

Under the rule of the incumbent president Islam Karimov of the Liberal Democratic Party, owning to the implementation of large-scale reforms, Uzbekistan has achieved great success in democratization and liberalization of the political, economic and humanitarian spheres. His main achievements primarily include the strengthening of the country’s peace, tranquility and civil harmony, sustainable economic growth, constant improvement of well-being, the quality of life of the population. It is crucial that simultaneously pursues a consistent reforms aimed at the formation and development of a civil society.

Political culture and activity was at its highest level during the Parliament Elections 2014. Its results demonstrated a commitment of its country and people to the building of a democratic state, where the main objective is to ensure the interests, rights and freedoms of a human, the rule of law, equality before it for all citizens.

An election in the Republic of Uzbekistan is carried out openly, publicly and transparently. In accordance with the Law “On Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” election commissions inform citizens about their activities on the preparation and conduct of elections, the formation of election commissions, their location and operation time, acquainted with the list of voters participating in the electoral list of the political parties, according to information on the candidates for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, on the results of voting and elections.

To meet the best prevalent electoral practice of the democratically advanced countries all the preparations and conduct of Presidential elections, as well as polling stations on election day and vote counting at each polling station shall be entitled to participate, observers from political parties nominating presidential candidates, members of the press, television and radio, observers from other countries, international organizations and movements.

Most recently, candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen, Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met voters in different regions. During his speech outlined his election program. It identified the main priorities for the comprehensive development of our country. In particular, technological innovation in industry and its structural changes, creating favorable conditions for development of small business and private entrepreneurship, reducing the share of government in the economy, increasing soil fertility and the introduction of modern agricultural technologies in agriculture, conversion of farms in multidisciplinary, expansion of localization program, improve the investment environment, the consistent rise in living standards, strengthening cooperation with all countries, peace and stability in our country.

Upcoming March 29, 2015 Presidential Elections in Uzbekistan are essential for further progressive and stable development of the country and the Central Asian region as a whole. This is due to the special geographical position of Uzbekistan, located in the heart of Central Asia, as well as its huge resources industrial, scientific and technological potential and the key role which country plays in international relations, including in ensuring regional stability and security. Successful holding of upcoming Presidential Elections 2015 would further brighten the scope of political stability, economic sustainability and the last but not the least constitutional supremacy in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

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