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Uzbekistan’s India’s key Eurasian partner holds landmark parliamentary polls

Uzbekistan, Eurasia’s rising power and India’s key partner in the region is holding landmark parliamentary elections on Sunday amid major reforms initiated by the current President.

Five political parties are participating in the parliamentary elections and they will compete to win seats in the 150-seat Legislative Assembly – the lower chamber of the Uzbek parliament, which consists of the Senate and the Legislative Assembly.

Five registered political parties are for the elections: National Revival Party, People’s Democratic Party, Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, ‘Adolat’ (Justice) Social Democratic Party and Ecological Party.

“New Uzbekistan, new elections” is the motto of the parliamentary elections in the country as polling started at 8 am local time. Uzbekistan is seeking to gain experience from India’s democratic successes and institutions.

These elections are first parliamentary elections in the country after the current President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev cameinto office in December 2016 and launched large-scale reforms in Uzbekistan.

In the beginning of 2017 under the initiative Mirziyoyev new National Development Strategy of Uzbekistan was adopted. The Strategy has been consistently put into action since then.

When one is talking about new Uzbekistan, it is first of all, about openness and transparency in the society. Ensuring rule of law, strengthening democratic principles, protecting rights and freedoms of each and every citizen have become a top priority of the government policy. Today Uzbekistan has vibrant TV-channels and newspapers that freely discuss any pressing topic of the people’s interest. Social media has become an integral part of the Uzbek society. Dynamic civil society is actively contributing the progressive development of the country.

Secondly, there is high level of accountability and responsibility of the Government bodies before the ordinary citizens. From the very beginning of the reforms the President of Uzbekistan put it very firmly: it is not people who should serve the government bodies, but it is government bodies shat should serve people. Today this principle has deeply rooted in everyday life of every government official.

Besides, the government of Uzbekistan also putting increasing efforts in fighting against corruption. Nationwide governmental commission has been established on fight against corruption. Rule of law and justice have become the foremost important principles of the reforms. The government recognizes these elements to be the key in ensuring inclusive and sustainable development.

As a result of the reforms ongoing economic reforms in Uzbekistan a completely new conditions for the social and economic development have been created. Revolutionary steps have been taken to liberalize the economy and create better and wider opportunities for the business and entrepreneurship to grow.

For Uzbekistan the Central Asian region, deepening friendly relations with next-door neighbors including India is the topmost foreign policy priority. Under the new regional policy of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, thanks to concrete political and diplomatic steps taken by Uzbekistan a new political atmosphere in Central Asia was created. Today the countries of the region enjoy a high level of mutual trust, confidence, support and friendship.

Pre-election campaign demonstrated Uzbek citizens and political parties are displaying a rising vigor in the political life of the country. Heated debates among different party candidates, Mass Media scrutiny of their promises, is something of new phenomenon for Uzbekistan.

Some 20 million people are participating in the elections, including 2 million youth who will vote for the first time. Nearly 10,000 ballot boxes are being used in 150 separate constituencies.

More than 600 international observers, including from international and regional organizations, such as OSCE, SCO, CIS and India are monitoring the voting processes on elections day.

Source: Economic Times