THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION
OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
briefing by Chairman of the CЕС of the Republic of Uzbekistan
What novelties have been introduced in Uzbekistan’s acting electoral legislation in comparison with the last electoral season?
In accordance with the Law “On introducing amendments and addenda to some legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, signed December 29, 2015, a number of changes and additions have been introduced into the Law “On elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
The law stipulates, in particular, that mandates for observers from other states, international organizations and movements are issued by the Central Election Commission.
Polling stations may be formed in places of detention.
The voters’ list (electoral roll) is composed of all citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan who have reached eighteen years of age by or on the day elections, permanently or temporarily residing at the time of drawing up the list in the territory of the precinct electoral commission.
Every citizen is granted the right to appeal against the non-inclusion, incorrect inclusion in the list or exclusion from the roll, as well as against errors made in the list regarding the data specifying the voter. From now on, appeals on this issue are considered by the precinct election commission, which ought to consider the appeal no later than twenty-four hours, and immediately if it is received on the eve or on election day.
Petitions in support of the nominated candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall contain the signatures of at least one percent of the total number of voters of the Republic of Uzbekistan, representing no less than 8 administrative-territorial entities. In one administrative-territorial unit (Republic of Karakalpakstan, region, or Tashkent city), a political party may collect no more than eight percent of signatures out of the total.
The concept, types, forms and methods of election campaigning have been defined. It was established that the campaigning is prohibited not only on the election day, but also the day before the vote.
The Central Election Commission, building on the protocols delivered from district election commissions, shall determine the total number of voters in the republic; the number of voters who have received ballots and lists; the number of voters who participated in voting; the number of votes cast for each candidate; the number of invalid ballots.
Who can run for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan?
Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan not younger than thirty-five years old, fluent in the state language and who have permanently resided in Uzbekistan for at least ten years before the elections are entitled to run for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
From what age can one take part in the vote?
Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan from 18 years of age are eligible to participate in voting.
On what grounds can a person be included in the electoral roll?
Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan who reach the age of eighteen on the day of elections, permanently or temporarily residing in the territory of a corresponding polling precinct, are entitled to be included in the list of voters (electoral roll).
Is it possible to vote earlier? And how can one cast a ballot thus? At what time ahead of ballot day does early voting start?
A voter not able to be present in his/her place of residence on the polling day has the right for early voting. Early voting starts ten days ahead of elections and ends one day before elections. The time for early voting is set by a district electoral commission, and thus voters, observers, representatives of mass media are informed about the decision. To cast ballot in early voting, the voter is issued a ballot sheet by the precinct electoral commission at the place of his/her residence on the basis of his/her application with indication of reason for anticipated absence on the election day (e.g., vacation, business trip, travel abroad and so forth). In the presence of at least two members of the precinct electoral commission, the voter signs for the ballot sheet in the electoral roll. The ballot sheet is filled in by the voter in a specially equipped booth or room for secret ballot. The voter makes a decision and leaves the filled-in ballot sheet in a sealed envelope in the precinct electoral commission. Signatures of two members of the precinct electoral commission are put on the place of stick of the envelope, confirmed by the seal of the commission and signature of the voter. In cases where individual voters, due to health or other reasons, cannot arrive at the polling station, the polling station commission, upon request, instructs the commission members to organize voting in the place of residence of these voters.
How are polling stations established abroad?
Electoral precincts shall be formed no later than sixty days prior to the election. In military units, at the missions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in foreign countries, in remote and inaccessible areas, as well as in places of detention, polling stations are formed within the same period, and in exlusive cases no later than five days before the elections.
On the basis of a proposal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Central Election Commission approves a resolution “On formation of polling stations for the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the missions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in foreign countries and their attachment to a respective electoral district”.
How can you cast ballot when you are in another country on the polling day?
A citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan, entitled to vote but staying in a foreign country, can cast ballot by arriving on the day of voting at a polling station set up in the corresponding representation of the Republic of Uzbekistan in that country. Information about the electoral precincts formed at representations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in foreign states is posted on the official website of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan (www.elections.uz).
How are the votes counted of those who are abroad?
Counting of votes at polling stations established in the corresponding representation of the Republic of Uzbekistan in a foreign country is carried out in the manner specified in the Law “On Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.
Counting of votes at the polling station is carried out by the precinct electoral commission separately on each candidate.
At the end of the vote, before the opening of the ballot boxes, in the presence of all the members of the precinct electoral commission, closed envelopes with ballot sheets are thrown into boxes.
Ballot boxes are unsealed by the precinct electoral commission in the presence of all the members of the commission following the announcement by its chairperson of the end of vote. Unsealing of ballot boxes until the end of vote is prohibited. Before opening the ballot boxes, all unused ballots shall be counted by the precinct election commission and canceled.
With regard to the main electoral roll and the appendices to it, the precinct election commission determines the total number of voters in the area and the number of voters who received ballots. On the basis of the ballots and ballot sheets that are in the ballot boxes, the commission determines: the total number of voters who participated in voting; the number of votes cast for each candidate; the number of ballot sheets invalid. Votes are not counted on the names of citizens additionally inscribed on the ballot papers and voters’ lists.
Ballot papers and sheets of unknown sample, as well as sheets and ballots in which the sign-cross (plus) is put down during the voting in more than one box or is not put down in any of them are recognized as invalid. In case of doubt about the validity of the ballot, the problem shall be solved by precinct electoral commission through voting.
Outcomes of vote counting are deliberated during a session of the precinct electoral commission and are recorded in a report. It is to be signed by the chairperson, deputy chairperson, secretary and members of the electoral commission, and is presented to a corresponding district electoral commission in a procedure set by the Central Election Commission.