20 Dec 2019 12:03

OSCE ODIHR head comes to Uzbekistan to take part in election monitoring

TASHKENT. Dec 20 (Interfax) - Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir has arrived in Uzbekistan to monitor the country's parliamentary elections set for this coming Sunday, the press service of the Uzbek Central Elections Commission (CEC) said in a statement on Friday.

"OSCE ODIHR Director Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir arrived in Uzbekistan for the first time on December 20 to monitor the elections," the statement said.

The OSCE ODIHR has sent a full-fledged election observation mission to Uzbekistan for the first time since 1999, the CEC press service said. The mission includes 11 international experts based in Tashkent and 30 long-term and 250 short-term observers. The mission began working in Uzbekistan on November 25.

The mission said in its interim report that the OSCE ODIHR recognizes the noticeable progress made by Uzbekistan in improving its electoral legislation and electoral practice, though there are a number of comments. The mission will provide its final conclusions and assessments regarding the Uzbek elections on December 23.

There are five officially registered political parties running in the December 22 elections. They are the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People - Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP), the Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party, the Adolat (Justice) Social-Democratic Party, the People's Democratic Party, and the Environmental Party. The candidates nominated by these parties and registered by the CEC launched their election campaigns on November 18 and will end them one day before the vote.

According to CEC data, Uzbekistan has 20.53 million eligible voters, of whom 18.74 million, or 91.3%, will cast their ballots at polling stations in the country's territory.