On 24th October, 2021 people of Uzbekistan voted for their future in the 6th presidential elections. The presidential elections were held in a very professional manner where turn out remained almost 80.8%. There were five candidates for these elections which included Mr Alisher Kadirov from National Revival Democratic Party, Ms. Maqsooda Vorisova from Peoples’ Democratic Party, Mr. Bahrom Abduhalimov from Justice Social Democratic Party, Mr. Narzullo Oblomuradov from Ecological Party and Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev from Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev secured 80.3% of popular vote while Ms. Maqsuda got 6.65% votes and remained the runner up. In order to become the president, a candidate must secure more than 50% of votes. Hence, Shavkat Mirziyoyev was elected the president for the second consecutive term.
Since Uzbekistan is one the youngest nations in the world, youth was very enthusiastic to cast their vote. Among them were a large number of young people who voted for the first time. There were 10,760 polling station in total in the whole country where around 16.3 million people voted. Elections started at 8 am in the morning and continued till 8 pm in the evening. More than 1000 observers from 50 countries observed these elections. International observers from different organizations like, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other regional and international organizations also observed the elections.
Upon visiting the polling stations in different parts of capital city Tashkent, I was amazed to observe the arrangements. All polling stations I visited were strictly following Covid-19 SOPs. There were temperature guns at the entrance, masks desks and sanitizers. Every individual entering the polling station had to take all precautionary measures. People were also observing the SOPs for Covid-19 as well polling. There were different desks within the polling stations. The chairman-overall in charge of polling station, IT personnel, representatives of all contesting candidates, polling officers and observers had designated places.
The most important feature at all polling stations was ensuring the confidentiality. The voters stamped their ballot paper separately in designated areas, where no one else was allowed to enter. Ballot boxes were placed in the middle of polling station to be clearly visible. Photography or videography (except for observers and media) was strictly prohibited. Voters queued calmly and patiently for their turn. There was no mismanagement and hue and cry at any polling station.
Polling staff was professionally trained. It was polite and helpful to the voters. Staff at every polling station was very cooperative and welcoming to observers. They provided every information demanded by the observers. Most of the polling staff was government servants and chairmen/members of the Mohallah Council. To ensure the fairness, name of the voters was double checked; once electronically and once manually. Once the ballot paper was issued against the passport, voters name was struck off from the list manually as well as electronically. There had not been any situation of tension, abusing opponents, or each other.
The volunteers attached with observers never tried to deceive them. Whichever polling station observers requested, they took them there immediately. One polling station established in a school was right in the middle of neighborhood. We heard Uzbek national music from about 300-meter distance. When visited that station, it was a different experience for us. There was great hustle and bustle. All the people including voters were very friendly. When asked from the Principal of the school about loud music, she said just to make it sure that people reach here easily and to entertain them because they have to wait for their turn. We enjoyed our stay at that polling station.
One of the most important features of these elections were special attention to the differently abled population. Although, Uzbek constitution gives equal rights to vote to such people, this time election commission had taken special measures to ensure maximum participation of such people.
During the conservations with people waiting to vote or after casting their vote, it was evident that whoever is going to win the elections, people were happy with the progress during the last 5 years. Almost all of them wanted continuity in the reforms which have great impact on the socio-economic and political developments of Uzbekistan. Young people, when asked, expressed Uzbekistan to be one of the most important country in the world.
I can surely say that the 6th presidential elections were completely free and fair and I never observed even a minor misconduct during the election day. After two weeks of the elections and once president Shavkat Mirziyoyev has sworn in as president of Uzbekistan for the second term, I’m sure that he will keep the young voices in his mind and take his country to new heights of development where Uzbek nation will be proud of itself.
On November 6, 2021, a solemn ceremony of inauguration of the President-elect of the Republic of Uzbekistan took place in Tashkent at a joint meeting of the chambers of the Oliy Majlis.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a speech on priority areas for the next five years.
“We have developed a Strategy for the Development of New Uzbekistan and widely discussed it together with the people during the election campaign. In this important conceptual document, to ensure the consistency and continuity of our transformations, the main idea is “From the Action Strategy to the Development Strategy”, the Head of the state said.
Uzbekistan will continue its pragmatic, balanced foreign policy and economic diplomacy. This is, first of all, the further strengthening of good-neighborliness and strategic partnership with the countries of Central Asia, as well as the expansion of mutually beneficial and multifaceted relations with partners in all regions of the world.