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ODIHR experts discuss electoral recommendations and reform in Uzbekistan

Election experts from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) presented the final report on Uzbekistan’s 2021 presidential election during a visit to Tashkent that took place from 14 to 17 June 2022.

The experts discussed the report’s key findings and recommendations with representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs, justice, and development of information technologies and communications, the Central Election Commission, the parliament’s lower chamber, the Agency of Information and Mass Communications, the Ombudsperson, as well as representatives of political parties, civil society and the media.

“We appreciate the frank and constructive discussions with our Uzbekistani counterparts  following our observation of the presidential election last year,” said Eoghan Murphy, Head of the ODIHR Election Observation Mission. “The authorities can rely on ODIHR's support and expertise in their efforts to advance democratic reforms towards a genuinely pluralistic political environment. We have also discussed the importance of including a wide range of electoral stakeholders in the reform process.”

Discussions focused on recommendations contained in the report. These include conducting a comprehensive review of election laws, removing remaining restrictions on the fundamental rights of expression, peaceful assembly and association, ensuring a clear separation between state and party, lifting restrictions on candidacy rights, strengthening integrity of the voter registration, providing for citizen election observation by independent civil society organizations. The implementation of gender-related electoral recommendations was also discussed during a dedicated roundtable event.

The ODIHR experts learnt about the ongoing constitutional and electoral reform process. In this context, the experts offered various forms of assistance, including expert discussions, thematic workshops and legal reviews, and electoral stakeholders expressed commitment to engage in further discussions and follow-up activities with ODIHR to bring Uzbekistan’s elections closer in line with international standards and commitments.

All OSCE participating States have committed to promptly follow up on ODIHR’s electoral assessments and recommendations.