2 May 2023 09:17

New Uzbek constitution backed by 90.21% of voters in Sunday referendum - CEC preliminary data

TASHKENT. May 2 (Interfax) - Preliminary figures show that 90.21% of voters supported the draft legislation on Uzbekistan's new constitution in a recent referendum, Chairman of the Uzbek Central Elections Commission (CEC) Zainiddin Nizamkhodzhayev said on Monday.

Uzbek citizens voted on the proposed new version of the country's constitution on Sunday, April 30.

Another 9.35% voted against, Nizamkhodzhayev said.

"A total of 16,673,189 citizens, or 84.54% of the total number of citizens included in the voter lists, took part in the vote," he said.

More than 19.7 million citizens could take part in the April 30 referendum in Uzbekistan, which has a population of over 32.2 million, he said.

During the referendum, voters had to answer a single question: "Do you accept the Constitutional Law on the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan?"

"The referendum proceeded in full compliance with international standards and norms and the legislation of Uzbekistan. Every voter had the right to express his or her will freely," the CEC chairman said.

Certain flaws, which will not impact the outcome of the referendum, were timely detected, "including thanks to attention from media and the public, and were dealt with," he said.

"In total, irregularities were found at 0.01% of all polling stations," Nizamkhodzhayev said.

The number of articles in the new draft of Uzbekistan's constitution, which was endorsed by the Legislative (lower) chamber of the Oliy Majlis (parliament) and approved by the Senate (upper house of parliament), has increased from 128 to 155, and the number of constitutional provisions from 275 to 434. The amendments will update the constitution by 65%. The amendments propose reducing the number of senators from 100 to 65, extending the term of office of the Uzbek president from five to seven years, banning the death penalty, and prohibiting the extradition of a citizen to a foreign country.

The current Uzbek constitution was adopted in 1992, and since then, amendments have been introduced to the country's fundamental law 15 times.