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Uzbekistan announces early voting date for presidential elections

Early voting for the presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan will take place on October 14-20 this year.

This was reported by the CEC press service.

According to the Electoral Code, a voter who is unable to be at his place of residence on election day has the right to early voting.

Early voting begins ten days before the elections and ends three days before the elections. The time of early voting will be determined by the Central Election Commission, regional, district, city election commission. It will be communicated to voters and observers through the media.

“To carry out early voting, a voter, on the basis of an application indicating the reason for absence on election day (vacation, business trip, travel abroad, etc.), receives a ballot paper from the relevant precinct election commission. In the presence of at least two members of the relevant precinct commission, the voter signs for receiving the ballot paper in the voter list,” the document says.

The ballot paper is filled in by the voter in a specially equipped booth or room for secret ballot.

In addition, the voter makes a decision and leaves the filled-in ballot paper in a closed envelope, which is kept in the safe of the corresponding precinct election commission. At the place where the envelope is glued, the signatures of two members of the precinct commission are put, which are confirmed by the seal of the commission.

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan on 24 October 2021. This will be sixth presidential election held in the independent republic.

Officially, a political party has the right to nominate a candidate for presidency on the condition that it is registered by the Ministry of Justice no later than four months before the day of the announcement of the start of the election campaign and six months before election date.

Nominations are reserved towards the highest bodies of political parties, and one party can nominate only one candidate from amongst its members or a non-partisan person. Thus, independent and non-partisan candidates cannot legally nominate themselves, and this requires becoming a member of one of the officially registered parties and nominating only with the support and approval of the leadership of these parties.This paragraph is often criticised by experts, political scientists, international observers and organizations, as well as human rights defenders, opposition figures and dissidents for systemically limiting access to any participant willing to bid for presidency.

As of June 2021, there are only five political parties officially registered in Uzbekistan which are all viewed as pro-government: Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party, Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party, Justice Social Democratic Party, People’s Democratic Party and the Ecological Party.

By Sher Karimov

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