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CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION
OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

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SPEECH BY ZAYNIDDIN NIZAMKHODJAEV, CHAIRPERSON OF THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE

01.05.2023

19116

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CEC press center

1 May 2023

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Dear compatriots!

Dear participants of the conference!

Ladies and gentlemen!

 

A referendum was held in the Republic of Uzbekistan yesterday, April 30.

 

According to the decisions of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the date of the referendum is April 30, 2023, and the ballot paper contains only one question: “Do you accept the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan”?

 

Referendum Commissions at all levels organized their work in accordance with the requirements of the Law “On Referendum of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.

 

The referendum of the Republic of Uzbekistan was conducted in full compliance with international norms and standards, our referendum legislation and generally accepted democratic principles such as openness and transparency.

 

Each citizen freely made his choice in a referendum. Some of the shortcomings observed in these procedures were identified and openly discussed in a timely manner, including with the participation of the public.

 

The above circumstances show that the referendum process was completely transparent and under public control.

 

The Central Election Commission and other agencies responded immediately to the cases reported in the media and social media.

 

Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan, non-governmental organisations and citizens'self-governing bodies have taken every opportunity to freely campaign on the draft law subject to referendum before the referendum was held.

 

A total of 383 international observers directly observed the preparation and holding of the referendum.

 

14 reputable international organisations, notably the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Association of World Election Bodies, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA CIS) and the CIS, the Organisation of Turkic Speaking Countries, the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic States, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, as well as 184 individuals from other international organisations and 199 international observers from 45 countries participated in this process.

 

The referendum is currently being covered directly by 964 media representatives, including 192 representatives of 127 foreign media.

 

For the first time in the history of Uzbekistan, more than 43,000 representatives of the country's five political parties and citizens'self-governing bodies were able to directly observe the referendum.

 

Yesterday, you yourself witnessed how millions of people followed the voting process via an online transmission from the video cameras installed in the referendum precincts.

 

At the same time, television and radio regularly broadcast photo reports, interviews and reports by journalists from thousands of referendum precincts. The referendum process was broadcast around the world via social media and websites.

 

During the pre-referendum and referendum period, a broad media platform was created at the Central Election Commission Press Centre and its offices in the referendum precincts for all those involved in the referendum process. Hundreds of press conferences, briefings, interviews and meetings were held there.

 

At these events, information was heard from members of the Central Election Commission, the heads of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and the Interior, and the Chairpersons of the Precinct Referendum Commissions.

 

Approval and consistent implementation of the Central Election Commission's March 16, 2023 Schedule for preparing and holding the referendum on the draft Constitutional Law "On the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan" is important to ensure that the referendum is held at a high organisational level and in compliance with the requirements of national legislation.

 

A total of 611,320 citizens took advantage of the opportunity to vote early, which was offered from April 19 to 26 this year.

 

The referendum offered our compatriots living abroad the opportunity to vote in 55 referendum precincts established in 39 countries.

 

Of the 19 million 722 thousand 809 citizens registered to vote in the referendum, together with our compatriots who participated abroad in the referendum of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 16 million 673 thousand 189 citizens received ballots and voted. This corresponds to 84,54  percent of the total number of voters in the referendum.

 

According to preliminary information, the ballots have been counted in all referendum precincts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, including abroad.

 

According to the preliminary results of the referendum with regard to the “Do you accept the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan?” 15. million 40 thousand 55 people or 90,21 percent of citizens who participated in the referendum voted “in favour”, 1 559 200. people or 9,35  percent voted “against”. The number of ballots declared invalid is 73 934 pieces or 0,44 percent.

 

According to the law “On Referendum of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, the decision is considered adopted in a referendum if more than half of the citizens who participated in the vote, voted “in favor”.

 

Therefore, based on this preliminary information, there is every reason to believe that the Constitutional Law “On the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was adopted by the people of the Republic of Uzbekistan in a referendum!

 

Of course, the final results of the referendum will not come into effect until the Central Election Commission has made and officially announced the relevant decision.

 

There were some shortcomings in the conduct of the referendum, but they did not affect the outcome.

 

At the same time, in referendum precincts No. 226 (8th referendum district of Syrdarya region), No. 651 (10th referendum district of Tashkent region) and No. 772 (14th referendum district of Tashkent city), circumstances were found that require reviewing.

 

In particular, the situation in Syrdarya and Tashkent regions has been determined by the monitoring of the Central Election Commission and the situation in Tashkent city by the mass media, and each of these situations is being investigated by the Central Election Commission and the district commissions together with the authorities.

 

Taking into account that there were 10,758 precincts throughout the country, the number of precincts where deficiencies were found in the conduct of the referendum is less than one-tenth (0.1) percent.

 

Dear friends, I once again congratulate our people for having approved the new Constitution in the exercise of their right in an open referendum.

 

At this point, we would first like to thank the missions of international organisations and observers from abroad who followed the referendum in the Republic of Uzbekistan with great interest!

 

Our special thanks go to the media and journalists for their unbiased, open and transparent coverage of the referendum process.

 

In addition, we would like to acknowledge the work of local Hokims and ministries and departments that provided organisational and technical support in preparing and holding the referendum.

 

We sincerely thank the members of the district and precinct commissions, the local observers and all our compatriots who took care of this process and made a worthy contribution to the preparation and holding of the referendum at a high organizational level, in accordance with our national legislation and generally accepted international standards!

 

Thank you for your attention!

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