Nationwide elections to the Oliy Majlis (the parliament) of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as regional, district and city councils of people’s deputies will be held on December 21 this year. Columnist Mansur Ibragimov summarizes results of a readership survey about people’s intention to take part in the vote.
The publication by Ibragimov “Let’s make a choice” on the site “Anhor.Uz” presented not a very optimistic picture. One of the comments below the article, notes that the original survey on this very hot topic however, was removed from the front page of the site shortly after publication of its results…
The Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis) is the parliament of Uzbekistan. It succeeded the Supreme Soviet in 1995, and was unicameral until a reform implemented in January 2005 created a second chamber.
The Legislative Chamber has 150 deputies elected from territorial constituencies. The Senate has 100 members, 84 elected from the regions, from the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan and from the capital, Tashkent, and an additional 16 nominated by the President of Uzbekistan. Both houses have five-year terms.
With daily http://www.anhor.uz site traffic from eight to ten thousand readers, just 703 people have decided to take part in the survey. In relation to the average number of visitors per day – it’s just 7.8%.
Of the 703 people who took part in the survey 399 or 56.75% decided not go to the elections because the elections solve nothing.
A group of 223 (31.72%) people believe that it is important to take part in the elections and make their choice.
11.52% or 81 people have not yet decided on whether or not they going to take part in the voting.
For the heavily censored media the only way to keep these results presented to the public on the website is put them in a context of adherence to the official ideology. So the website present an article that is trying to convince people “not to be lazy and get off the couch and go to the polls!”
It is important to understand the peculiar situation of Uzbekistan in terms of the geopolitics and infrastructure of institution of power. Called as a “Republic” and pretending to implement democratic way of development this country is practically a kingdom that preserved slightly modified remains of a power system established and polished during previous Soviet era. Although criticizing the system, many analytics and experts tend to conclude that the current system is the only available option for the people to keep the fragile peace in the region because of the real danger of potential escalation of radical Islamism and nationalism problems in this region. This is very arguable opinion, but let us step back and take a look at the example of “Real” and “matured” democratic countries such as US! Based on arguments and opinion expressed by British campaigner Russel Brand there is absolutely nothing democratic in the system of election in the US, and UK for that matter…. So, the question is really: “What do we want from elections in Uzbekistan”?!