Uzbekistan’s Presidential Elections 2015 and Role of Economic Sustainability and Political Stability

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

PRESDENTIAL 2

Crucial elements of human survival and production i.e. economic sustainability and political stability are the ultimate victor in shape of H.E. Islam Kairmov in the recently held presidential elections 2015.

According to Uzbekistan Central Election Commission (March 31), Islam Karimov once again remerged as ultimate victor in the recently held presidential elections in the country. He has been re-elected a new five-year term. It is a victory of socio-economic prosperity achieved by the country under the rule of Islam Karimov since inception. It is the resultant of unmatched level of political stability in the central Asia region.

According to Uzbekistan Central Election Commission more than 17 million 728 thousand citizens, 85.2 percent of the total number of voters included in the lists rigorously participated in the presidential elections. According to the preliminary results of the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan 17 million 122 thousand 597 citizens, or 90.39 percent of the total number of voters casted their votes for Islam Karimov. For Akmal Saidov voted 582 thousand 688 people, or 3.08 percent of voters, for Hotamjon Ketmonov 52 thousand 309 people, or 2.92 percent of voters, for Narimon Umarov voted 389 thousand 24 people, or 2.05 percent of voters.

The elections were held in full compliance with the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Law on the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other laws. It was transparent, free, and democratic. Moreover, it was the unanimous opinion of the regional and international elections observer that the election was well governed and effective. According to them every election campaign event was open and transparent and strictly complied with Uzbek legislation.

The voting process was arranged at the polling stations established at representative offices of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia and Thailand. Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, as well as in Europe and neighbouring states.

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All the voters voted for further strengthening of societal harmony, economic sustainability and political stability in the presidential elections 2015. Continuation of financial and banking reforms, deepening of democratization process and massive politicization were the main areas of concerns to all the voters. Islam Kairmov the icon of political wisdom, strategic vision, economic prosperity and social harmony remained the first choice of the voters of Uzbekistan in the presidential elections 2015. Now, re-election of Islam Kairmov has already dispelled fears of so-called political uncertainty and economic chaos in the country as projected by western media and its pseudo intellectuals.

Right from the beginning he rigorously focused on the transformation of Uzbekistan towards socio-economic stability and political sustainability. Due to which the country had achieved socio-economic development since its independence with robust gross domestic product (GDP) growth till today. During his presidency Uzbekistan transformed its macro-economy from a raw-material based economy to knowledge-based economy. Its economy has grown 4.1 times, and in per capita terms it multiplied at least threefold. The public external debt of the country never reached beyond to 16 percent of the GDP, while the internal debt has a zero valuation, amid the mounting volumes of exports and gold and currency reserves. It attracted more than US$ 56 billion of FDIs. The volume of capital investments in 2013 is to make up US$14 billion, which is 23 percent of the GDP.

Uzbekistan had achieved stable high rates of GDP and its major sectors during 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.

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.

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Uzbekistan, since its independence in 1991, initiated various economic programmes as well as macro and micro-economic policies which have resulted in a strong and viable economic system.
During his governance in the past, the market allowed free and fair competition under a free market mechanism and continuity of economic policies. The government tried to lessen the burden of taxes on low-income groups and poor people. It spread a vast network of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and micro-credit institutions. 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

It also guaranteed social security to all its citizens. The government policies helped people to save and invest. In return, these savings were beneficial for many government projects. 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.

Due to his strategic vision about social development the average life expectancy has increased by 7.5 years (from 66 years to 73.5 years for men while women’s life expectancy has risen to 75 years); the proportion of children with low body weight has decreased more than twofold (from 4 percent to 1.8 percent), and their average height increased by 3 centimeters (1.2 inches); agricultural production has increased twofold in the last 20 years, while grain production has increased from 1 million tons to 7.8 million tons, turning the country into an exporter of wheat; and the last but not the least, land for cotton production has been halved and the freed space given to food crops.

To achieve the desired goals of macro-economy, Uzbekistan’s government initiated a multi-pronged strategy. It secured sustainable economic growth through increased employment opportunities and through improved income generation capacity of its people. It encouraged private investments by introducing many meaningful incentives and invested in important sectors. It introduced and followed a holistic approach to achieve comprehensive regional development and reduced societal and regional disparities throughout the country. Social development remained one of the main focuses of the government which ultimately increased the quality of life and encouraged gender equality.

It rigorously institutionalised structural reforms which increased the economy’s competitiveness in the region. The constant policy of liberalisation supported the national economy and strengthened the banking and financial sector too.

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Uzbekistan’s government adopted a result-oriented privatisation policy which enhanced its macro-economy. It did not offer its strategic assets in the privatisation process and followed the ancient philosophy of survival that promotes the principle of keeping your old assets until you have new ones.

Secrete of the stability and sustainability of the macro-economy of Uzbekistan is derived from the philosophy that the economic is superior to politics: they view the state as the major reformer and guarantor of economic transformation as well as the supremacy of law.

The financial and banking crisis of Asia reminded the world that uncontrolled inflows of funds badly damaged their economies in the 1990s. Uzbekistan did not seek any manipulated inflows of foreign funds. Uzbekistan has its own unique workable system of domestic investments. The government has instructed all the corporations, factories, institutions and other related organs to make compulsory investments out of their profits on regular bases. This system is now paying the dividends. The vast network of small and medium industries and industrial projects are being established on the public-private partnership basis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his victory confirmed his high standing among the Uzbek electorate. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, also congratulated the Uzbek president.

Conclusion

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Islam Karimov re-election in the recently held presidential elections once again upholds the superiority of deliverance over so-called system. He has been the ultimate source and resource deliverance of socio-economic prosperity, political stability and constitutional development in the country. It reflects the importance and relevance of indigenous wisdom and traditional networking over borrowed ideas of diva of happiness and development. It shows the power of traditional values, suitability of political system, people’s mass participation and desire to excel.

The comparative study of all the ancient political systems and models of people participation beginning from walled system of Greece, Pax Romanum of Roman Empire to early Islamic Rashidun Caliphate selection unearths that main aim of governance system is to deliver the good for the common people. It also upholds that governance system must be free from any political dogma, societal stigma, and economic barrier. Democracy is not a fairy tale or queen of happiness, keeping by which one succeeds to achieve socio-economic prosperity. Take the example of China, Uzbekistan, Brazil, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar where so called highly projected Western Styled democracies are not at work but still these countries have achieved high levels of socio-economic prosperity and sense of security. So The Republic of Uzbekistan will be in safe hands under his rule in the time come.

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