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Opinion

Free and fair elections – An important condition of democracy

By: Khudoyor Mamatov

The holding of free and fair, open and transparent elections in compliance with the principle of periodicity is evidence of the country’s choice of the path of democratic development.
The frequency and compulsory nature of elections are reflected in the legislation of Uzbekistan. For example, in accordance with Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the President of the country is elected by the citizens of the Republic on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a period of five years. According to the constitutional laws governing the activities of the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, their term of office is also five years.
In accordance with the above requirements, elections of the President of the Republic and the representative bodies of state power must be held every five years.
The precise definition and frequency of the term of such powers are usually in line with international practice.
Following this democratic principle, the Central Election Commission adopted a resolution «On determining the date for holding elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and announcing the start of the election campaign»dated July 23, 2021. According to the document, the presidential elections are scheduled for October 24, 2021, and the election campaigns began on July 23 of this year.
The right to freely vote allows voters and other participants in the electoral process to make decisions, participate in elections without any influence, freely express their will in the voting process without any control, and vote secretly. This important principle is enshrined in article 7 of the Electoral Code.
The right to free elections allows participants in the electoral process, members of the Election Commission to make decisions in the forms permitted by law and in legal ways, without fear of punishment or influence, regardless of the outcome of the elections and voting results.
In accordance with the Electoral Code, election commissions and their members carry out their activities independently of any state bodies, public associations and officials. Interference in the activities of election commissions is not allowed and entails liability in accordance with the law.
In order to conduct a fair election campaign, all legal foundations have been created in the electoral legislation of our country. As follows from the principle of equal suffrage, every citizen has the right to participate in elections on an equal basis. Every citizen has one vote and the right to express his will on an equal basis with other citizens.
Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives”.
The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan determines that citizens of the country have the right to participate in the management of the affairs of society and the state, both directly and through their representatives, such participation is carried out through self-government, referendums and the democratic formation of state bodies, as well as the development and improvement of public control over activities government agencies.
Article 7 of the Electoral Code stipulates that free and secret voting is ensured by creating appropriate conditions that exclude the possibility of any control over the expression of the will of the voter.
Many more examples confirm the fact that the generally recognized democratic norms of international law, which do not contradict the national interests and values ??of Uzbekistan, are reflected in the national legislation. Indeed, the country’s global prestige largely depends on the openness and transparency of the electoral system in which it operates, as well as on the observance of generally accepted democratic norms of international law.
In the development of democratic statehood, it is important that relations between the people and society are regulated not by the will of one person or group of persons, but by law. Therefore, the rule of law is recognized as one of the main features of a democratic rule of law. For the rule of law serves to ensure justice in the country.
Thus, year after year, Uzbekistan strengthens its position in the world community, raises its authority, demonstrates positive image dynamics to the whole world, boldly moves towards national progress through humanitarian and fair reforms.
The author is Secretary of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Doctor of Law, Professor.

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