TEHRAN (Iran News) – October 24, 2021 can be a day to be remembered for the people of Uzbekistan as the nation by a massive turnout in the second presidential election in its new era and by its overwhelming presence in the election registered a golden leaf in the history of its new Uzbekistan.
While Uzbeks had recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of independence of their country on September 1, the presidential election for them was more important because international communities were focused on this big political event in the Central Asia to test the democracy in this former Soviet-Union state.
Over some 400 international observers and journalists had been invited to this biggest political event in Uzbekistan which opened a new era in this lovely and hospitable country.
Days before the election, people were preparing themselves for casting their votes for their favorite candidates and from the first moment one could guess who would win the election because the incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, from the Liberal Democratic Party, was favorite to be re-elected because of his outstanding popularity among the Uzbek people.
Avazbek Vakhidov, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies, said since Mirziyoyev took the helm of the country as replacement for former President Karimov in 2016, the country has moved towards a new era and changes by opening economy and pursuing some major reforms. He said in the past two years, Uzbekistan has been open to foreign investment and the country has been focused on boosting interaction with the world. He added that Mr. Mirziyoyev was the favorite to win the election because of his good performance in his first term as the president.
This feeling was seen clearly among other Uzbeks and especially among the young generations. They mostly believed Mirziyoyev was the right man for the country to administer it for a better future. Many university students were volunteers to help the observers and journalists during the October 24 election and they explained why the election was important for the country and future of the country.
Currently, there is a new Uzbekistan, a Uzbekistan that has acquired a new image in the international arena. On Sept. 1, the country celebrated the independence of its republic, a celebration backed by what can be called a serious breakthrough when it comes to transparency and openness over the past five years.
The electoral processes were conducted openly, transparently and based on the national electoral legislation and the time frames specified therein. Some important changes and additions had been made to the electoral code this year. For the first time, an estimate of expenses for preparing and conducting the presidential elections was openly presented.
In sum, the organization of the presidential elections in new Uzbekistan is a logical continuation of the ongoing large-scale democratic reforms in the country. According to statistics, the number of media representatives accredited to cover the Uzbekistan presidential elections was over 1,600, the number of international observers reached some 400. This is almost 1.6 times more than in the 2019 parliamentary elections. It is a vivid confirmation of the openness and transparency of our society.
Students of foreign languages this time were available to cooperate with observers and international media reporters and it shows that the country attaches importance on promoting other international languages for better interaction with the world unlike the past that Russian language was dominant.
Zahro was one of the students and was my guide during visit to Samarqand and visiting poll stations. She also hailed the new condition in her country and backed the current president.
According to the Central Election Commission Chairman Zainuddin Nizomojaev, 80.1 percent of those casting ballots supported Mr. Mirziyoyev. He added that 80.4 percent of the some 20m eligible voters took part in the election.
The joint observation mission from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the European Parliament (EP) acknowledged that legal framework has been through extensive reforms in recent years.
Deputy Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Yerik Ashimov said the elections were held in accordance with the national legislation and the country’s international obligations. He reiterated that the observers did not reveal any violations that cast doubt on the results of the voting.
Mirziyoyev in 2016 and in the first presidential election collected some 90 percent of votes and this year his votes slumped by 9 percent although the number of the eligible voters had risen. The other candidates shared a few percentage points: Maksuda Vorisova of the Popular Democratic Party collected 6.6% of the votes, Aliser Kodirov of the Democratic Part 5.5%, Narzullah Oblomuradov of the Ecological Part 4.1% and Bakhrom Abdukhalimov of the Social Democratic Party “Adolat” 3.4%.
Now the Republic of Uzbekistan is expecting more prosperity and more interactions with the world after this transparent and fair election